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Yoga and Meditation for Seniors: The Benefits

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay by Jeviniya

Yoga and meditation has been used for years to help individuals relieve stress and anxiety, learn to cope with depression and other mood disorders, and find a healthy mental/physical health balance. It's a great way to get a workout because it can be adapted to fit anyone's needs and done just about anywhere. For seniors, it's the perfect blend of relaxing activity because it can be tailored to help build joint and muscle strength or to focus more on balance and mobility.

Combining daily exercise with meditation -- which focuses on mindfulness and living in the present -- is a wonderful way for seniors to cope with stress and emotional pain, and it can help reduce anxiety at the same time. It can also help boost mental agility, memory, and concentration, meaning seniors can work on building up their brain power while also working on their bodies.

Keep reading for more on the benefits of yoga and meditation for seniors.

Daily Exercise That Doesn't Hurt
Daily exercise is imperative for everyone, but it's especially important for seniors who want to remain mobile and active and prevent health issues. Yoga is the perfect solution for those who have chronic pain (such as arthritis) or can't move the way they used to since it can be adapted to fit any lifestyle. For instance, many seniors use a chair to balance on, or they do yoga poses in a swimming pool. This reduces the risk of an injury during a workout and keeps exercise pain-free.

Get Away from the Stresses of Life
Life can get stressful for anyone, but it can have a profound negative effect on a senior. In order to prevent mental decline, it's important to get away from those stresses now and then and focus on your own needs. This is where meditation comes in, as it will allow you to channel bad energy out and put a more positive foot forward. It will be helpful if you have a space in your home to meditate in; a spot that is away from any noise or distractions where you can feel comfortable to sit and clear your mind for 30 minutes to an hour. Go here for some great tips on how to create your own meditation space.

Get Social
Because yoga can be done either alone or in a class, it's a great way for seniors to get social with friends or to make new connections. Look online for a yoga class near you, and keep in mind that you can look up tutorials on YouTube if you want to try some poses at home. Talk to your friends and loved ones to see if anyone is interested in joining you; you might be surprised!

Improve Your Balance and Stability
Falls are one of the major causes of injury for seniors, but practicing yoga daily can help improve your balance and stability and reduce the risk of a fall significantly. Start slowly with simple poses before working your way up. If a pose hurts, stop immediately and return to a normal position. Yoga should never be painful. It can also help you improve your flexibility, meaning you can sit and kneel for longer periods of time. This is especially useful if you work in the garden a lot or work at a part-time job.

Prevent Disease
Daily exercise in itself is a great way to prevent disease and boost your health, but there are also certain yoga poses that can benefit the pancreas, which can help you prevent or manage diabetes. Talk to a yoga instructor about the safest way to start working on these poses, and always consult your doctor before trying a new regimen, especially if you already have health issues.

Photo Courtesy of Lua Valentia on Unsplash

For many seniors, finding a fun way to stay fit and active can be difficult. Yoga and meditation are wonderful for people of all ages because they benefit both mental and physical health, and they also allow you to change aspects to fit your needs. Start slowly and talk to your doctor about any concerns; with a good plan and some help from an instructor, you'll be a pro in no time.


Jill Palmer

Jill is passionate about helping people, especially those suffering with mental illness. Her articles reflect her willingness and compassion to help and share her personal experiences with others. We thank Jill for her devoted work, effort and courage.

National Institute of Mental Health

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