5 Reasons to Practice Yoga in Your Golden Years
- Reduced stiffness. A regular yoga class can help to reduce some of the stiffness you might be starting to notice creeping into your body – in your back, neck, shoulders, hips, and legs. The gentle, low-impact movement and stretching during a class are great for increasing your range of motion in those stiff areas.
- Increased strength. Some classes include poses that will help to improve your strength. For example, plank pose can improve arm and core strength; Warrior II can improve leg strength. Over time you will notice you can hold poses for longer periods of time — proof that you are getting stronger!
- Increased flexibility. Through gentle stretching poses, yoga can increase your flexibility and range of motion in areas such as your hips, shoulders and spine. As you begin to feel less stiff, you will notice that you can move with more ease and flexibility.
- Stress Relief. Even after just a single class, most people feel their stress levels are lower. Easing tension in the body through movement and stretching is one source of stress reduction. Another source of stress relief comes from the emphasis placed on breath awareness in most yoga classes. Throughout a class, students are encouraged to take deep and steady breaths, instead of the shallow or fast breaths we usually take when stress is high. Finally, the short meditation that accompanies the beginning and end of most yoga classes is a proven stress reliever. Meditation gives the body and mind time to slow down and regroup.
- Social Event. It can be fun to meet new people and share your yoga experience with them each week. At the very least, it’s an excuse to get out of the house, see new faces and have a change of scenery!