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April 27, 2015
Yoga For Older Adults - 6 Amazing Health Benefits
By Heather L Johnston
One of the extraordinary things about practicing yoga is that yoga strengthens all different areas of the body: heart, lungs, muscles, joints and nervous system. Yoga can improve the digestive system, delivering oxygen to all our body systems bringing them to a healthier state, and it helps our psychological well-being. Yoga unfolds the layers of tension, the layers of old stories that we carry around with us, and it releases the barriers that we've lived with all of these years.
Stresses in older adults may show up in the form of muscle tension to the point of pulling the bones out of alignment, illness, organ injury or changes, energy or circulation blockages. But deep inside each person there is a spark. A quest for truth. The truth of what the inner self desires to move toward, and the truth of what the self is really capable of. Truth moves us toward health. Physical, mental, spiritual health.
Studies have shown that people who practice yoga show signs of improved health. I have found that the older adults who attend my class experience less pain, more range of motion in the joints and a greater sense of well being.
6 Amazing Health Benefits for the Older Adult
* Consistent practice lowers the pulse (heart rate): A slower pulse means that the heart is strong enough to pump more blood, with fewer beats. (becomes more efficient)
* Yoga improves blood circulation: By efficiently transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
* Decreased Blood Pressure: The blood pressure often decreases with a consistent yoga practice due to more efficient blood circulation and oxygenation of the body.
* Decreased Respiratory Rate: A slower rate of breathing (respiratory rate) indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently during and after exercise. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
* Balanced work outs: Yoga provides a balanced workout of opposing muscle groups, all through graceful posture. This maintains balance and symmetry.
* Arthritis Relief: The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints allows additional lubrication in the joints. This lubrication and gentle stretching helps to relieve arthritis symptoms, and provides a greater range of motion over time
This is just a small sample of benefits for older adults. Yoga provides these same benefits and more for any age, from 3yrs - 103yrs. It is a wonderful way to rest, relax and restore. It provides a stillness and quietness within that often will lead to great insights, and greater strengths.
"Your hand opens and closes, and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings." Rumi
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