Can Yoga Benefit the Elderly?


Can Yoga Benefit the Elderly?

Yoga. The very word may inspire exhaustion, calling to mind lithe young people twisting their bodies in uncomfortable-looking shapes that make the rest of us cringe. 

But yoga can be a very gentle way of cultivating health and well-being.  Through the regular practice of different techniques, including postures and movement, breath awareness, and breathing exercises, yoga can benefit people of all ages, shapes, and athletic abilities. 

At Bella Vista Health Center, we provide weekly gentle yoga classes for our residents. We employ skilled and compassionate yoga practitioners to lead the classes in our yoga and meditation center. 

So…to answer the question above, we offer a resounding, “Yes!” Yoga provides wonderful benefits for the health and well-being of people of all ages. Here are some ways yoga can benefit the elderly. 

Yoga provides low-impact exercise

Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle no matter how old you are. But in our later years, high-impact exercises such as running or weight lifting are too hard on our bodies. Yoga is a great way to get the benefits of exercise safely and gently. 

Yoga can increase range of motion

As we get older, our range of motion often declines due to stiffness of limbs and joints.  This can lead to falls, injuries, and difficulties with daily tasks. The gentle stretches of yoga helps to keep us flexible and limber, increasing our range of motion as well as our quality of life.  

Yoga can prevent and slow bone density loss

One in three women over 50 experience osteoporotic fractures. The weight-bearing activity of yoga helps to slow bone thinning, and can both prevent and treat osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women. 

Yoga relieves stress and anxiety

Yoga is not just great for the body; it’s also great for the mind. Practicing yoga daily lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, eases your breathing, and induces your body’s relaxation response. These conditions relieve stress and anxiety, keeping you centered and energized, and balancing out your moods. 

Yoga protects your joints

Joint stiffness is a common sign of aging, and it can inhibit our ability to perform daily tasks such as brushing our teeth and getting dressed. Yoga can help keep joints lubricated and regular practice can be a beneficial part of managing arthritic conditions. 

Yoga builds strength and balance

Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. Yoga helps build strength and improve balance, both of which can help prevent falls. 

The health and well-being of our residents is important to us

At Bella Vista Health Center in Lemon Grove, we believe in a whole-being approach to the health of our residents.  While we provide top-notch skilled nursing care, we also offer additional activities and services meant to address the mental, physical, and emotional needs of our patients.  Yoga is a favorite activity for many of our residents.  And with all those benefits listed above, it’s easy to see why!