Yoga is a very adaptable activity that people with different physical needs can practice. The best part about yoga is that you don’t need much equipment to get into it, just an open mind. And, seniors can certainly benefit from the practice. Aside from its physical and mental advantages, yoga also has benefits to your social wellbeing. Very Well Fit recommends attending a regular yoga class for the sense of community and friendship you gain with your teachers and fellow students. We tend to overlook social connections, but they’re a very important part of maintaining health and wellbeing as we age. So, in this article we’ll be looking at why you should set up a seniors’ yoga party in your local community.
Adaptive yoga and its benefits
There are many ways to approach yoga for seniors who are just getting into the practice. You Call This Yoga offers weekly yoga classes that are appropriate for seniors. Using a chair in class helps students focus on the proper breathing techniques. It also helps seniors find the most comfortable position to promote relaxation. Whether sitting on a mat or on a chair, practicing yoga offers several benefits:
- It can help improve your balance
- It promotes flexibility and strength
- It elevates your overall mood
- It prioritizes physical awareness, especially focusing on the mind-body connection
- It makes you more agile and helps with joint lubrication, both important as we grow older, as noted in a Healthline article about chair yoga.
How yoga is affecting healthcare
The healthcare industry is already acting on the benefits of yoga, especially for those in their later years. Some hospitals are even starting to host their own yoga sessions to anyone over the age of 50 wanting to stay active, reduce stress, and socialize. Many institutions are using yoga to benefit the increasing senior population, and helping them stay physically healthier for longer. In its article “Yoga: What You Need To Know“, The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that practicing yoga relieves medical symptoms and improves medical conditions associated with the elderly, such as chronic back pain, multiple sclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As more seniors practice yoga, this will have a positive affect on their health and in turn lead to more people living longer. Maryville University’s analysis of the healthcare industry highlights how the senior population increased by 15 million in the space of 16 years. If more members of this growing population practice yoga, the overall wellbeing of seniors will undoubtedly improve. The practice not only keeps them healthier for longer, but it allows them to make the most of their later years.
Setting up a yoga party
Practicing yoga as a group helps people find friends that they can journey with as they explore their capabilities through yoga. It also helps seniors find people who will motivate them to continue progressing. Yoga parties don’t need to be big. In fact, it’s actually best to start with a small group of individuals and allow the restorative results of the yoga class to attract more people to join in. Find a certified yoga instructor who understands the needs of your participants and can lead the class to their desired goals. Then, look for a quiet space that will allow all participants to move freely on their chairs or mats. As you continue on with your sessions, make sure you also have time to socialize with your yoga classmates. Having after-yoga gatherings can be a great way to promote a sense of community–something many seniors often feel they lack in their later years. If more seniors practice activities that improve their physical, spiritual, social and mental wellbeing, longevity in seniors will continue to rise. And if living longer isn’t a valid reason to start a yoga party, we don’t know what is.
The article was specially written by Allison Ellis for You Call This Yoga