Strengthening bones, reducing stress, enhancing balance, and improving sleeping habits are only a few benefits of yoga for senior citizens. Slower, gentler yoga styles are best for older adults, such as hatha yoga, Inyengar yoga, and Kundalini yoga.
A study by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance reports that nearly 14 million Americans over 50 practiced yoga in 2016. That is almost four times higher than that of 2012. Read on to explore the four best yoga styles for older adults and a guide to picking the right one.
You might find our explainer on does yoga hurt at first helpful.
- 1 What To Look For When Practicing Yoga As A Senior
- 2 How To Practice Yoga As An Older Adult
- 3 3 Best Yoga Styles For Older Adults
- 4 Testing Criteria
- 5 Why You Can Trust Me
What To Look For When Practicing Yoga As A Senior
It doesn’t have to be a fast-paced type of yoga, but it should show signs of flexibility improvement over time. Opt for one that targets your hamstrings and splits, and make sure to give those areas the best intensity.
The loss of mobility is a major concern during our aging journey. It also takes longer to heal from injuries. Unfortunately, most older adults tend to let it go or give in and live with it rather than trying to recover.
If you’re looking for the best poses for your loved ones to practice: try the tree pose or warrior pose, as they are the best practices to improve their mobility.
The loss of muscle mass is one of the most striking effects of age. Therefore, you should have it monitored and addressed directly with yoga.
If you can practice some weight training, don’t hesitate to combine it with yoga. Make sure the yoga style you’re following helps tone up your muscles as a priority.
Yoga isn’t simply about fitness. Training your mindset and spiritual health is just as important. Spirituality is one of the key factors for aging gracefully.
Kundalini yoga is one of the top calls that involves chanting, singing, breathing exercises, and repetitive sequences to help you get conscious in the present moment.
How To Practice Yoga As An Older Adult
Prioritize Your Fitness Level
Not every senior responds to yoga the same way or achieves the same positive result. People experiencing glaucoma are advised to steer clear from inverted or head-down positions. These poses are likely to cause pressure on the eyes.
Other than that, if you have a medical issue such as unstable injury, acute disease, or significant balance issues, consult your doctor first.
If you’re thinking of beginning with yoga, it’s better to start with a slow, easy yoga style like Yin yoga or Kundalini yoga. This way allows you to ease into it without getting injured.
Make sure to have a proper warm-up first. It’s better to take it too slow instead of overstretching and hurting yourself.
3 Best Yoga Styles For Older Adults
Hatha is a generic term for any style of yoga that involves holding poses for a longer period. The idea behind Hatha yoga is to target physical postures. When signing up for a Hatha yoga class, you will be experiencing a slow-paced series of sitting and standing poses that improves your breathing techniques and stretching skills.
This is one of the best styles for a senior beginner as the sequence will not boost the heart rate or involve jumping or tricky poses.
This meticulous style is the best yoga for older adults dealing with stability problems. Iyengar yoga involves a lot of specialized props such as bolsters, straps, blocks, and incline boards that can be adjusted.
On the lesser-known side, the idea behind Kundalini is to include enchanting, high vibrational music to create a welcoming and healing atmosphere for the poses to thrive. Kundalini yoga is the best way to nourish your spiritual health and awaken the Kundalini energy hidden at the base of the spine.
Kundalini yoga is a sequence of six components, starting with an opening chant and ending with a closing chant. Unlike other yoga styles, Kundalini concentrates on the healing effect of your energy while the physical movements and poses play a small part.
The three yoga styles above are recommended by my family doctor, who has close supervision of my grandmother. Since her first stroke two years ago, she has been practicing Iyengar yoga three times a week, and her stability has significantly improved, especially when walking up and down the stairs.
Why You Can Trust Me
Yoga came to the rescue ever since I started dealing with a quarter-life crisis. For the past four years, I have experienced major changes and got my hands on different yoga styles. Such a close connection between me and yoga has allowed me to develop an intimate knowledge of this healthy habit and encouraged me to assist my grandmother’s yoga routine in her 70s.
The four yoga styles I recommend for seniors above are the best ways to reverse some signs of aging without sacrificing safety. While Kundalini yoga is the top call to awaken your mental energy, the Iyengar will improve stability and achieve correct alignment.