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By Evelyn Wambua

Top seven health benefits of yoga for seniors

Yoga is a Hindu ascetic and spiritual discipline that includes simple meditation, breath control, and specific bodily poses. "Yoga" means a union of mind, body, and breath. It is mainly practiced for relaxation and health.

Yoga for seniors is designed for adults above 50 years of age who want to improve their levels of energy and physical activity. It helps them build mobility through a series of gentle stretching, meditation, breathing exercises, and a sequence of balancing and relaxation.

Yoga for seniors also helps in building healthy social networks, and aids in easing symptoms of fatigue, depression, and stress. Some poses improve balance and core strength, which prevent falling. Other poses alleviate health issues related to old age, like menopause. In short, yoga helps adults feel younger. Here are the top benefits of yoga for older adults:

  1. Strengthening bones

Osteoporosis is a common age-related health condition. It can be caused by deficiency of vitamin D or calcium, or by hormonal changes that make bones weak and fragile. Yoga for seniors helps slow down bone thinning, and prevents hormonal imbalance especially in postmenopausal women, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

  1. Pain reduction

Yoga poses are effective in relieving pain caused by ailments such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, and migraines. Regular practice of yoga also helps lubricate the joints, preventing joint pain which is a common problem among the elderly.

  1. All-around wellness and fitness

Being healthy is not just being free from disease, but also being emotionally and mentally balanced. It is about the dynamic expression toward life in general. Yoga pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, and postures positively affect how loving, enthusiastic, and joyful one is.

  1. Stress relief

A 30-minute yoga session can significantly reduce both mind and body stress. Yoga pranayama, meditation, and postures are effective techniques for de-stressing the mind and detoxifying the body. Yoga also lowers cortisol levels and the constant flight or fight response of the nervous system, preventing overreaction to unpleasant emotions. Stress and depression are the main causes of high-blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, so yoga is a perfect countermeasure. Yoga and a mini-vacation are effective when combined to achieve inner peace.

  1. Weight loss

Overweight seniors are at a higher risk of developing chronic health conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular ailments, and diabetes, and that is why shedding off some weight is important. Kapal Bhati breathing techniques and Sun Salutation are ways of losing weight. Regular yoga practice, combined with healthy eating habits can help maintain healthy weight levels. Yoga for seniors is also effective in balancing body hormones, preventing weight gain.

  1. Improved immunity

Our systems are made of the mind, the body, and spirit. A body irregularity impacts the mind negatively, and similarly, restlessness and unpleasantness of the mind makes the body feel ill. Yoga poses strengthen muscles and massage organs, while meditation and breathing techniques relief stress, improving the overall immunity.

  1. Better relationships

Yoga helps improve relationships with a spouse, parents, children, and friends. A relaxed, a contented, and a happy mind is able to handle sensitive relationship issues correctly. Meditation is key to a happy and peaceful mind, which in turn helps strengthen the bond between loved ones.

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