There are serious anti aging benefits of yoga for over 60s, according to new scientific research swinging by THE DAILY MEDITATION’s office today.
The research is the latest in a long line of studies proving that yoga is anti-aging. And the even better news? You can use the majority of the traditional yoga styles for youthfulness.
The University of Edinburgh reviewed 22 clinical trials that investigated the benefits of yoga.
The researchers found that people over the age of 60 can significantly improve quality of life by practicing yoga daily. The researchers compared yoga to other exercises in the over 60s, including aerobics. And they also considered the effects of different exercise programs—from 1 to 7 months and individual sessions from 30 to 90 minutes.
Benefits of yoga for over 60s
Researchers found the following benefits of yoga for over 60s:
- Yoga can keep you looking young
- Better sleep
- Reduced symptoms of depression
- Improved muscle strength and flexibility
- Reduced symptoms of arthritis
- Increased vitality
- Yoga reduced blood pressure
A large proportion of older adults are inactive, and do not meet the balance and muscle strengthening recommendations set by government and international health organisations.
Based on this study, we can conclude that yoga has great potential to improve important physical and psychological outcomes in older adults.
Yoga is a gentle activity that can be modified to suit those with age-related conditions and diseases.” –Divya Sivaramakrishnan, Physical Activity for Health Research Centre
Comparing Yoga With Other Exercises For Over 60s
Yoga is one of the best exercises for over 60s, the researchers at the University of Edinburgh discovered.
Researchers compared yoga to other exercises for over 60s and found that yoga more effectively enhances muscles strength and flexibility, while also improving mental health conditions such as depression.
Divya Sivaramakrishnan tells us:
“A large proportion of older adults are inactive and do not meet the balance and muscle strengthening recommendations set by government and international health organizations.”
Yoga is one of the best exercises for over 60s to improve strength and flexibility, the team tells us.
Plus, yoga is easy and adaptable. It can be modified to accommodate for the various challenges and needs ot people over 60.
“Based on this study, we can conclude that yoga has great potential to improve important physical and psychological outcomes in older adults. Yoga is a gentle activity that can be modified to suit those with age-related conditions and diseases.”
How One Woman Over 60 Used Yoga To Improve Her Quality Of Life
For people over 60, yoga can massively improve quality of life, says Fiona amour, 61, in an article on THE SCOTSMAN.
An art teacher from Edinburgh, Fiona Amour has been practicing yoga for 4 years and regularly does Vinyassa (flow) yoga. Vinyassa yoga is anti-aging, says Amour.
“I was in my late 50s and had always been quite healthy but was beginning to feel the stresses of getting older. I had thoughts like ‘what am I doing?’, ‘where am I going?’ and wondering if I’d been successful enough.
“Yoga takes you through both breathing and movement.
“When you go in to a class there is the typical chatter of the mind. But when you are instructed to ‘inhale, move your arm this way’ for a whole hour it slows your breathing.
Ms Armour added: “It only takes a minute of slowing breathing down to calm someone down. “I’m a swimmer and it changed my swim stroke. All for a sudden I could my whole spine could move better and I was walking more freely.”
How To Do Yoga Over 60
At 0ver 60, yoga needs to be approached gently and wisely. Remember, we want to hep our bodies with gentle exercise, we certainly don’t wish to do any harm. That’s why it is important for over 60s to do yoga properly.
Friendly tips for doing yoga over 60
1. Quality over quantity
You know the song, “It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it. That’s what gets results…?”. Well, that really is what gets results.
When doing yoga as seniors, it’s important to remember that our bodies have some bumps and bruises. And it is best to go slowly and gently.
The best way to go slowly and gently is by being mindful when practicing yoga.
Forget about how long you can hold a pose for, and instead focus on how conscious you are of the yoga poses. When you experience muscle tightness, consciously relax the tight area.
2. Find A Good Local Yoga Studio With A Gentle Practice
When it comes to doing yoga, seniors should go gently and should practice in a supportive yoga group.
There are many benefits of going gently when practicing yoga. And not just that it reduces the chance of injury. It is also better for the mind to slow down and be more conscious when practicing yoga.
Some yoga teachers are better at teacher yoga to seniors than others, as explained in this article on Gaia.
A good yoga teacher will also help you to be aware of potential dangers such as decreased bone density and balance problems.
Plus, they will have the best yoga props, such as bolsters and straps, to help you with your practice.
Pro-TIP: If you want to do yoga at home, get a good yoga prop set like this one on Amazon.
A good prop set like the one above contains all the tools you need for a healthy, successful yoga practice.
Be sure to take a look at that link above. So you have everything you need to successfully practice yoga at home.
- TIP: If you’re going to do yoga at home, take it easy and support your body with a good yoga chair.
3. The Best Yoga Poses For Over 60s
The best yoga poses for seniors are ones that do not rely on balance. Sadly, as we age we lose our balance and the last thing we want to do as seniors in yoga is fall over.
The best yoga poses for seniors are poses that offer plenty of support to the whole body. Think Downward Dog and Sphinx (DoYouYoga has a great article listing some of the best poses for seniors. Read it here)
Some of the best yoga poses for over 60s include:
- Downward Dog
- Bird Dog
- Mountain Pose
- Tree Pose Low
- Lung Pose Bridge Pose
- Legs-Up Wall Pose
4. Have Fun
I am firm believer in the idea that emotions heal.
Happiness and fun produce positive energy that can heal the body. That’s one reason why you should focus on using yoga for positive energy.
Make yoga fun and enjoyable. Not only will this boost your mood, but it will also help to relax your body and to release any tension. Happiness is a healer.
5. Combine Yoga With Meditation
Make sure you combine your physical yoga exercise with mental exercises. To do this, practice yogic meditations.
When you combine yoga with meditation you get the best of both worlds. You exercise your body and your mind at the same time. And of course, there are very many benefits of meditation too.
For the best anti-aging yoga for over 60s, combine mindfulness exercises with physical yoga poses and exercise your entire being.
When starting, try 20 minutes of yoga followed by 20 minutes of meditation. In just 40 minutes you will exercise your entire being, ad you will feel great!
And That’s How You Practice Yoga Over 60
There are so many benefits of yoga for over 60s.
Yoga offers a gentle exercise that improves balance, coordination and strength. Yoga improves cognitive skills as well, and can even help to slow memory loss.
As we age we need to take better care of the body and mind. And yoga is one of the best ways to do this. Remember to subscribe, and leave a comment.
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book: Your Best Meditation