No matter what your age, yoga is an excellent choice if you would like to begin a regimen to improve your body and enrich your mind. Yoga is about breath, posture, and mindfulness. It might you feel better and live longer. Yoga can be done independently or with a group, although we recommend that beginners start by taking a class with a teacher who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about working with older individuals.
Yoga has numerous benefits for individuals in their middle or senior years. It is fundamentally a mental practice. According to this report from the CDC, 20% of people over the age of 55 experience some type of mental health disorder. They are at particular risk of anxiety and mood disorders like unipolar depression. Despite recent advances in whole person care and removing the stigma of mental illness, many seniors do not receive the care they need in this area. While not a replacement for cognitive behavioral therapy or medication when appropriately prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, yoga can be incredibly therapeutic. It increases positive emotions and it can reduce the fight or flight response. It involves slow, deep breaths, which mitigate feelings of anxiety, and the routine, community, and physicality are all beneficial for one’s mental wellness and outlook.
Many older individuals worry about falling, slipping, breaking bones and being physically fragile. Yoga will give you back some of your lost control and power by improving your flexibility and balance. You don’t have to become a head-standing pretzel person – nor should you expect to be – but can you expect to become more limber, steadier, and sure-footed. You will also get stronger and improve the health of your joints. You will feel more confident in your body, more grounded and more capable.
Yoga can reduce hypertension, the major risk factor for heart attack among seniors and those approaching their senior years. Your physician will be pleased to see your blood pressure going down. Yoga can also help you keep off excess weight and so reduce your risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Your clothes will fit better; you will have more energy for walks, work, and chasing the grandkids.
Yoga improves respiration and promotes mindfulness. You will learn to breathe, perhaps for the first time, and you will become grounded in the present moment. Yoga classes tailored for seniors are gentle and inclusive. It is a wonderful opportunity to take your health in your own hands.
We believe very much in mastering the art of aging, in taking an active role in being healthy. If you live or work in the San Francisco Bay area or Monterrey and you want to learn more about how to live well as you age – from balancing hormones to working on your weight – we can help. Call Evolved Medical for a free consultation today: 888-925-4568.