Yoga For Seniors: 19 Resources to Help Get You Started at Any Age
From improved flexibility to sharpened cognitive ability, yoga offers myriad benefits for people of all ages. For seniors especially, yoga has been proven to fight aging and promote both mental and physical longevity.
If you’re ready to explore the benefits of yoga for yourself, look to these 19 resources for the tips, tutorials and inspiration you need to get started.
Sixty and Me
This senior lifestyle blog is geared towards senior women, but their “Yoga for Seniors” category has tips for both men and women. This section covers everything from getting started with yoga to choosing the right yoga for senior DVDs.
Sixty and Me founder, Margaret Manning, authors most of the site’s uplifting, encouraging content. In one post, The 5 Stages of Starting Yoga as an Older Adult, Manning uses the five stages of grief to help her readers come to terms with the very real challenges and triumphs of trying yoga at an older age.
Yoga international aims to make yoga more inclusive for all types of people, including older adults. In an article about how yoga can reduce the risk of falling, senior Yoga Medicine teacher Amy Sedgwick describes her experience working with elderly patients who have suffered a fall.
To explain the powerful benefits of yoga, Sedgwick says that in many cases, “the falls could have been prevented with some basic interventions to help patients maintain the strength, stability, and mobility in their bodies, as well as a sense of overall wellness.”
Yogatailor’s blog features informative posts about how yoga helps improve conditions in old age. In a post on yoga poses for bone health, for example, yoga veteran Shanai Belton describes the causes and effects of osteoporosis in lay terms. While she is blunt about the fact that it’s a common disease that can happen to anyone, she also offers tips for prevention.
She then provides a step-by-step guide to 11 gentle yoga poses that can improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases that are common in seniors.
Yoga for Healthy Aging
This website’s tagline is “information, advice, and companionship for the journey”, and with a dynamic mix of posts on all things yoga, it definitely lives up to that name. You’ll find everything from discussions on yoga for runners to videos that focus on mastering a single pose.
Neuroscientist, ayurvedic specialist and blog co-author Ram Rao adds his insight in a post on yoga for anxiety. He says: “Researchers believe that yoga may improve the functioning of individuals with anxiety by relieving psychological distress through the release of feel-good chemicals, increasing their mental awareness and helping them to tolerate physical and sensory experiences associated with fear and helplessness.”
This is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about leading a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle as you age. From health and fitness to travel and leisure, Boomer Café regularly features guest writers for a refreshing mix of perspectives on different topics.
In a post on making exercise a regular part of daily life, fitness and motivation coach Alison Heiling recommends that seniors mix in harder, more intense workouts with easier workouts (like yoga) to maintain a positive balance and promote motivation.
One of the most comprehensive yoga resources on the web, Yoga Journal has a wealth of information about senior practice. In addition to how-tos and tutorials, Yoga Journal features interviews with inspiring senior yoga enthusiasts.
Take a bit of advice from Tao Porchon-Lynch, who’s been certified as the world’s oldest yoga teacher by The Guinness Book of World Records. Her rules for a long, active, happy life include ending procrastination, focusing on patience and nixing negativity to embrace each day to the fullest.
Do You Yoga
Do You Yoga is a yoga lifestyle website that helps people of all ages start and sustain their own yoga practice. Yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee shares seven yoga poses that have proven beneficial to seniors in her classes. Explaining the physical and mental health benefits of yoga for seniors, McGee writes, “Seniors can benefit tremendously from the practice, and it gives them a place to quiet their mind and start to slow down in life.”
Yoga City is a Canadian yoga studio that supplements its teachings with an informative blog. In one helpful post, certified yoga instructor and blog editor Debbie Stephenson dives into five of yoga’s most powerful health benefits for people over 50.
She notes that these benefits include exercise without the risk of injury, increased flexibility, good bone health, minimized hypertension and increased mental clarity. Stephenson explains that, “a yoga practice that incorporates breath work, guided relaxation and meditation can reduce stress, which in turn can have a favourable impact on blood pressure.”
The Art of Living
Sri Sri Yoga teacher Dinesh Kashikar offers his insight in this blog’s section created just for seniors. Kashikar answers common questions, such as “How should senior people practice yoga asanas?” and “How does yoga practice for seniors differ from those for the young?”
Here, you’ll also find information on getting started with SukShma yoga, a simple, gentle practice that’s particularly suited for elderly bodies.
This website differs from other senior living blogs because it focuses on how to prevent age-related ailments through regular health and fitness. One installment in Senior Advisor’s ‘Active Aging Role Model’ series features Bette Calman, also known as the “Yoga Super Granny”.
This uplifting and inspiring article is the ultimate read for any senior who’s on the fence about starting yoga. Calman explains that yoga has helped her sustain energy over the years, and she credits her good health to her regular yoga practice.
The Arthritis Foundation might not be your first thought when searching for senior yoga resources. But this website has an entire section dedicated to the healing power of yoga in older patients with arthritis.
One particularly helpful post discusses the medicinal power of yoga — and how it can actually eliminate the need for oral arthritis medication. As explained by Steffany Moonaz, Ph.D., health behaviorist, yoga research consultant and Yoga for Arthritis founder, yoga is a great choice for people suffering from arthritis symptoms. This is because yoga helps people stay active and mindful without exacerbating symptoms.
VeryWell is a healthy lifestyle blog that digs deep into how yoga can be used to relieve the symptoms of certain illnesses. In a general post on how seniors can get started with yoga, author and yoga teacher Ann Pizer explains what types of yoga are best for seniors. She recommends gentle hatha and Iyengar for seniors who are just getting back into exercise, while chair yoga and water yoga are best for those with limited mobility.
Sonima is one of the best modern blogs dedicated to healthy senior living. In an enlightening post titled The Remarkable Ways Yoga Keeps You Young, writer Tresca Weinstein cites a number of scientific and medical studies about the health benefits of yoga.
In one study, KIEL researchers studied how yoga and meditation impacted fluid intelligence — the mental ability to deal with unexpected circumstances and think abstractly. “Both yogis and meditators had higher average scores on fluid intelligence tests than [those in the control group],” says former KIEL project leader Angela Wilson.
CBHS Health Fund
You’ll find everything you need to know about yoga in this thorough, user-friendly guide. Start with the table of contents and learn about 11 different types of yoga for seniors — plus which conditions yoga can help with.
For logistical tips on incorporating yoga into your daily routine, Yoga to Go teacher Romina Sesto suggests starting off with one or two poses a few times a week. This, she says, is easier and more realistic than setting your goals too high and planning to practice every single day.
Yoga Studio 9
Once you’ve brushed up on the basics of yoga and you’re ready to jump into your first downward dog, be sure to check out Yoga Studio 9. Specifically designed for older beginners, the senior page on Yoga Studio 9 provides videos on chair yoga, standing sequences and more.
Then, head over to the conversations portion of the site, which features insight from academics, psychologists, scientists and other yoga experts. In an inspiring video with cancer survivor-turned yoga teacher Rochelle Poulson, teacher Lauran Janes asks about the emotions, support and yoga that got Poulson through her illness.
This free yoga resource is the passion project of lifelong yogi Anmol Mehta, a certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher, hypnotherapist and kids yoga teacher. Mehta’s seniors page provides a wealth of beneficial information, including spinal warm up sets and a 10-step simple yoga set. He also places emphasis on breathing exercises, noting that breathing is the foundation of yoga and often the best place to get started.
The Genius of Yoga
Poor balance and mobility lead to increased instances of falling in older adults, but Iyengar yoga has been proven to help. According to a study cited by Victoria Weinblatt, MSEd and founder of The Genius of Yoga, Iyengar improved sit-to-stand mobility when practiced twice per week for three months.
Weinblatt says that Iyengar yoga is especially beneficial for older adults because it is a flexible practice that can easily be modified. “To cater to each student, Iyengar yoga emphasizes the use of props that enable the instructor to modify/customize yoga poses,” Weinblatt says.
Yoganonymous is a community-focused blog centered around the physical and spiritual gifts of yoga. In one of many blog posts focused on seniors, yoga teacher Alexandra DeSiato lists a number of reasons why older adults should get involved in yoga.
Of the many great points she makes, DeSiato points out that yoga improves balance and stamina. This helps grandparents remain confident in their physical abilities for longer, therefore prolonging their active lives. If you’ve ever wanted to convince a friend or loved one (or yourself) to start practicing yoga, Yoganonymous is the blog for you.
A Place for Mom
A Place for Mom serves up practical healthy living tips for seniors and their families. This blog provides a fresh approach to standard senior wellness, showing seniors how to get involved in fun activities like laughter yoga. This hilarious practice takes traditional yoga and gives it a happy, community-driven twist.
As American School of Laughter CEO Sebastien Gendry points out, laughter and wellness are inextricably tied. “It’s not about happiness but finding meaning through practice and understanding that how we feel is a choice,” Gendry says.
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