By John Gaydos
Yoga can benefit seniors for the same reason it can benefit anyone – the list of possible benefits is very long. Let me provide a couple examples of why it might be good for you:
As we get older and correct posture becomes difficult and especially the upper body and the shoulders tighten, everyday activities like reaching for something on a kitchen shelf or turning your head to see when you are parking your car become uncomfortable, uncertain movements. Doing yoga of any kind – stretching your arms and your upper body can make these daily activities easier and enjoyable again.
Many older students are concerned about balance – I’m the same, not as steady on my feet as I once was! The simple fact is that anything you do to improve leg strength and flexibility can improve your balance. In yoga, we spend a lot of time strengthening the legs and hips and stretching them too. You can improve your balance and you can improve your strength and flexibility.
Yoga can also help calm you down and improve your breathing so you feel more relaxed during the day and sleep better at night
If you feel uncomfortable trying something new – here are some things to look for in a good yoga class:
You should feel welcome and treated with respect.
The teacher should instruct clearly enough that you have a fair chance of understanding what is happening – even if you are new to yoga.
The class should not be so fast that you are uncomfortable or feel stressed. The class should not be so slow that you are bored. The pacing should feel reasonable to your body and mind.
You should feel like you have worked but not overworked. It’s normal to feel sore the next day – especially if it has been awhile since you did a physical activity on a regular basis. But yoga is not supposed to make you feel bad – not right after class and not the day after when you wake up.
A well-balanced class will provide movement for every part of the body. The basic classic poses can provide that. If a pose doesn’t work for your body a good teacher should be able to offer an alternative pose that feels better.
The teacher makes a difference. If you don’t like a class then find another teacher that you really like. Then you can enjoy the yoga and the benefits will come!
About the Author
John Gaydos is a YogaWorks teacher who teaches at YogaWorks Santa Monica. He is Yoga Alliance 500-Hour EYRT, Senior Teacher Trainer, Member of the YogaWorks Certification Board, 300-Hour Professional Program Instructor and conducts trainings and workshops worldwide.
About My YogaWorks
MyYogaWorks online class site offers a carefully curated collection of over 750 videos streaming to your phone, tablet, lap top or TV. Classes range in length from 5-minute tutorials to 90 minute full classes, with beginner, intermediate and advanced sequences to suit practitioners of all levels of experience. Made with love in Santa Monica California, MyYogaWorks is the online arm of the renowned YogaWorks studios, bringing you excellence in yoga since 1987.
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*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living