The Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and now it is more popular than ever before. While not like traditional exercise, yoga’s stretching and breathing exercises can really help improve your health and keep you fit. Yoga increases your flexibility, and that can lessen muscle stiffness and tension as well as increase range of motion in your joints. It also increases your strength in both your upper and lower body, which can help prevent falls. Other benefits include increased lung capacity, decreased stress, and improved mood. And you are never too old for yoga; there are different types of yoga at all different levels, something for everyone! Everyone can benefit from yoga, especially the elderly. A great article from this Health Benefits of Yoga Blog goes over some great information about yoga for the elderly.

The United Nations reports that by the year 2030, one in every eight of the world’s inhabitants will be 65 years of age or older. Although the rapid increases in medical science have prolonged the longevity of human life, in order to ensure that the quality of life is not compromised as we grow older, we need to turn towards an older discipline that can help ensure fitness for the elderly. This discipline is yoga.

Yoga dates back to almost 5,000 years ago. This ancient physical discipline was developed in India. Since these millennia, it has undergone numerous changes, and today, it is widely recognized as one of the best methods of staying fit and healthy.

Why is yoga one of the best exercises for the elderly?

Yoga offers a number of benefits that make it one of the best exercises for the elderly. Let us take a look at some of them:

  • Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that does not strain the joints and muscles. This is especially important for older people.
  • Yoga helps to increase the flow of blood to the various organs and tissues of the body. This helps to ensure that the effect of ageing is reduced.
  • Yoga helps to restore and promote flexibility in the body.
  • Yoga breathing techniques teach you to breathe properly and deeply so that the capacity of your lungs is properly utilized. This, in turn, ensures that all the cells of the body receive sufficient oxygen, and also retards the process of ageing.
  • The meditation techniques that are so integral to yoga help to improve concentration and sharpen memory. They also help to reduce loss of mental acuity due to old age.
  • Yoga postures help to normalize blood pressure.
  • Yoga is also one of the few forms of exercise that has a direct beneficial effect on the autonomic nervous system.

Yoga exercises for the elderly

Some of the yoga exercises that are especially beneficial for the elderly include:

  • Savasana (the Corspe Pose): This deceptively simple pose enables you to actively relax each and every part of your body.
  • Sukhasana (the Easy Pose): Usually performed after the Savasana, the Sukhasana is one of the basic seated yoga poses. This pose straightens the spine and helps promote inner calm.
  • Bidalasana (the Cat Pose) and Adho Mukha Shvanasana (the Dog Pose): These two poses are usually performed in tandem and help to increase the strength and flexibility of the spine.
  • Kapalabhati: This yoga breathing technique helps to remove blockages and mucus from the respiratory passage and chest.

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