Yoga for seniors in Joliet

Yoga for Seniors at th Timbers of ShorewoodYoga: a young person twisted up like a pretzel with apparent ease. That image is not necessarily the complete story. In fact, yoga is for all ages; no one is too old or too young for yoga.

One of the great things about yoga is that it is so adaptable to different populations with various physical abilities and needs. Most seniors are doing what they can to maintain and improve a sense of health and wellness. Many of the 36 million or so Americans who are 65 or older (stat provided by: about.com) are turning to yoga to keep them stay agile and in shape.

Although the trend is to become more sedentary, retirement is actually the perfect time to pick up healthy habits that will promote longevity. Yoga is well-suited for seniors, because it is low-impact, and risk of injury is minimal because the discipline does not require any contact with anyone or anything. In addition, yoga’s weight-bearing postures help build or maintain lean muscle mass, and its focus on balance develops coordination.

Yoga also helps combat many of the health conditions that come with age such as high blood pressure, arthritis and incontinence, because it keeps the body toned, strong and flexible..

An added benefit (and an important one) is the sense of community seniors find at yoga classes. As many elders live in isolation, the group setting of a yoga class offers seniors a way to connect.

According to dietsinreview.com, there are many yoga postures that can be safely performed by seniors. Such postures have both a restorative and therapeutic benefit to them. Of course, adaptations and adjustments should be made according to the person’s health status and their physical ability.

  • Easy Pose (Sukhasana): The simple act of sitting down and breathing deeply and fully has an enormous capacity to tone the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems while also lengthening the spine, resting the mind, and cultivating a sense of peace. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of 10 breaths and gradually work up to maintaining this posture for five to 10 minutes.
  • Cat Pose (Bidalasana): This grounding posture helps tone the arm muscles while also strengthening the core and alleviating tightness in the low and upper back and neck. The beginner can do this posture for a minimum of five breath cycles and gradually work their way to doing more.

Older adults should get clearance from their doctor before starting a yoga practice. This is especially relevant for those who take medications or have a prior or current history of cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions. In addition, individuals should also seek out classes specifically designed for seniors, as they will take into account the unique health issues affecting them

Yoga classes especially for seniors are becoming increasingly available: check local senior centers, retirement communities, religious organizations and even health clubs.

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