7 Health Benefits of Yoga Particularly for Seniors

    Call it a medium to find balance in life or a means to increase coordination between mind and body or a spiritual practice – Yoga has many definitions and meanings. To put in simple words, yoga will be what you ask it to be!

    Yoga, the union in its true sense, is an ancient practice from India that offers cure and meaning in life. Yoga, being one of the most ancient healing practices known to humanity, is scientifically proven to be effective in living a healthy life. Consisting of a few breathing exercises, asanas (postures) and a few meditation practices, yoga manifests healing if practiced in the right methods.

    The health benefits of yoga are not only physical but also psychological and spiritual. The interesting and compelling factor is that most of these benefits are scientifically proven.

    It is universally perceived belief that you need to do complex exercises to be fit, or at least perform workouts that carry a certain level of difficulty. Even simple physical activities such as jogging and walking may become difficult after a certain age. Easing this difficulty, yoga offers simple yet the most beneficiary postures that could be performed by almost anyone!

    Sleeplessness or insomnia, anxiety, stress, hypertension, inflammation and depression are a few common health issues we face as we age. Here are a few reasons why your elders should practice simple yogasanas such as tadasana, padmasana, sukhasana, pranayama and meditation on a regular basis to attain the yoga benefits that are backed by scientific proofs.

    1. Improves Quality of Life

    Yoga is reinventing its legacy, the increased people participation in yoga practices is an indication for it. It has already become a parallel healing method for chronic illnesses. It has the qualities of decreasing nausea and vomiting feeling.

    If practiced on a regular basis, yoga could be the permanent solution for stress-induced chronic illnesses such as migraine attacks, asthma and allergies.

    2. Enhances Sleep Quality

    Prolonged insomnia has been associated with an array of health disorders including obesity, hypertension and depression. Practicing yoga postures such as balasana and adho mukha svanasana are proven to induce better sleep.

    Yoga coupled with sleep-inducing foods such as banana, kiwi, milk and honey could do miracles for the elders who are suffering from insomnia.

    3. Could Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases

    Lowering blood pressure is one of the most essential benefits of practicing yoga. It is scientifically proven that people with low blood pressure have decreased the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, people who are practicing yoga have higher chances of maintaining a lifestyle that is healthy in almost every aspect. This lowers the chances of stroke, heart attacks and other chronic neurological disorders.

    Yogasanas such as padangusthasana (big toe pose), janu sirsasana (head-to-knee forward bend pose) and supta padangusthasana (reclining big toe pose) are a few asanas that are beneficial for the health of the heart.

    4. Works to Reduce Stress

    Cortisol, the primary hormone that causes stress, is reduced in the body when yoga is practised daily. Yoga eases all sources of stress, in fact yoga is probably the best solution out there to deal with increased stress and anxiety.

    Stress and its acquaintances such as anxiety, depression, fatigue could be significantly reduced with the regular practice of this ancient Indian art.

    5. Reduces Inflammation

    Inflammation is one of the common health issues faced by the seniors in today’s stress-filled society. Yoga, by reducing the stress, works to lower the pro-inflammatory molecule levels in the body, that further contribute to arthritis and inflammation diseases like fibromyalgia.

    Inflammation is a natural response from the immune system but prolonged inflammation may damage the cartilage tissues and cause cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer.

    6. Could Fight Depression

    Yoga is known for showing the anti-depressant effect on the body while helping it to fight the depression. Many researches have proven that yoga has the ability to influence the levels of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter and linked with depression.

    Yoga works just fine in reducing the symptoms of depression. Practice yoga along with the traditional treatment methods for depression.

    7. Improves Flexibility and Balance

    Seniors tend to experience reduced balance, agility, speed and flexibility as they age. Simple yoga postures such as Vrksasana, vasistasana and garudasana are proven to be effective in improving the body balance and its agility.

    Try these yogasanas after building a strong foundation for your yogasana practices as any mistakes while practicing these asanas may result in injury.

    Modern life is so eventful and this very eventful nature of it contributing to stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. The irony is, the solutions to the modern life’s biggest health issues are being found in the form of of the ancient healing art form – yoga.

    The results of yoga will be more efficient and accurate if it is practised under the watchful eye of a qualified guru. Search yourself a suitable instructor and start practising yoga for an enhanced living experience as you advance in age.

    Thilak is the in-house content writer of Healthabove60, the Preferred Geriatric Home Healthcare service provider in Chennai. He mostly writes about health and elderly wellbeing.

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