Yoga Over 60 - A Healthy Alternative - Yoga Instructor Blog

Yoga Over 60 – A Healthy Alternative

yoga over 60By Faye Martins and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Is Yoga over 60 realistic? Yes, and there are teachers and videos designed to address the needs of seniors. Accordingly, Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, has noted the quickest-growing segment of the American population consists of seniors. Many of us who are over the age of 60 are turning to Yoga to stay mentally and physically fit. In fact, statisticians expect the number of seniors to double to 80 million by 2050. Obviously, there is a growing need for Yoga instructors trained to work with older students.

Quality of Life and Longevity

Of course, the over-60 age group is also one of the most diverse and vulnerable groups in Yoga schools. Therefore, teachers must know how to safely teach Yoga to seniors and how to integrate Yoga with traditional medicine. As life expectancy continues to expand, the likelihood of even older students continues to grow. Moreover, Yoga over 60 is a great physical activity that helps to reduce stress and improve flexibility.

How to Start?

Where to begin? Obviously, you can learn at home with videos, in a studio, or at a senior center. In good weather, there are many options at beaches and parks. After all, Yoga has many health benefits and it is fine to begin practicing Yoga over 60. Additionally, the practice can offer relief from ailments such as arthritis. When starting out, be realistic about the time you have to devote to the practice, the physical capability you have, and your needs. At the same time, Yoga is not a one-size-fits-all practice; there are many options available for beginners.

What Instructors Need to Know

How to safely and creatively adapt poses during practice to suit the needs of aging students

The symptoms and limitations of common health ailments, such as chronic pain, arthritis, knee or hip replacement, heart disease, and circulatory problems

Precautionary measures and exercises geared to specific conditions

Poses that are not recommended for particular conditions

Special practices, such as chair Yoga, also enable seniors to do poses

How to address social and spiritual issues involving age

Benefits for Seniors

While the demands of teaching Yoga to seniors may seem overwhelming, classes provide benefits that make an effort worthwhile. Among these are the following:

Sense of community and support

Less likelihood of falls

Improved alignment and flexibility

Sense of control over aging process

Heightened awareness of the body

Greater confidence

Reduced stress and anxiety

Better quality of sleep after practice

Insulin control

Reduction of pain

Increased bone density

Greater energy and stamina

Opportunity to learn healthy habits


Perceptions and Reality

Once you consider Yoga over 60, it might seem daunting to try. Yet, there are many beginner-friendly classes. Yoga is always meant to be enjoyed by everyone and practiced at any age. Start with a gentle class that moves at a slower pace and improves flexibility. Sometimes, classes are slightly heated or focus on warm-ups that are easier on the body. Further, there is no need to get involved in intense fitness-based workouts. In fact, trained specialist teachers know how to prevent injuries and keep students safe.

What About Disabled Seniors?

The number one issue of practicing Yoga over 60 is mobility. When a senior can get down to the ground and back up to a standing position, that’s a mobile senior. That is to say; we are not all in the same boat. Seniors with disabilities may prefer to practice Yoga with their caregivers. To explain, practice time for the handicapped improves the quality of their lives. Most importantly, yoga reduces stress and burn-out in those caring for them. Nevertheless, older students should look for well-trained instructors who enjoy working with seniors. Of course, more than in any other age group, getting the approval of a medical professional is crucial. Likewise, keeping the teacher informed of special needs is critical to getting benefits and preventing injuries.


Developing a Safe Practice at Home

We never know when weather or COVID might change our plans. If you’re over 60 and interested in Yoga, developing a safe practice at home is important. There are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, choose poses that are appropriate for your level of fitness. Second, be sure to warm up before you start practicing. Third, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Finally, focus on your breath and stay present at the moment. If you can keep these things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy and safe Yoga over 60 practice.


Learn How to Modify Yoga Poses

Thankfully, we can modify Yoga poses to make them suitable for us as time passes. For example, instead of doing a standing forward bend, you can do a supported forward bend by placing a chair in front of you and holding on to the backrest or the seat. You can also use props like blocks or straps to help you get into the pose and give you support. Remember to listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. With a little bit of modification, you can still enjoy the benefits of Yoga well into your 60s and beyond.


What About Online Yoga Classes?

Many people find that Yoga over 60 is a great way to stay active and healthy. However, some may not feel comfortable attending a Yoga class in person. Luckily, there are plenty of online Yoga classes available that can be done from the comfort of your own home. These classes typically include a streaming video of the instructor demonstrating the poses, along with instructions on how to do them properly. Many people find that online Yoga classes are just as effective as in-person classes, and they can be a great way to stay fit and healthy at any age.


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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