September is National Yoga Awareness month. According to Harvard Health Publishing, practicing yoga has many benefits for people of all ages. Yoga focuses on breath controlled exercises and a series of stretching that is followed by a resting period. Yoga increases awareness, improves respiration, encourages mindful eating, and enhances fitness. Yoga can be adapted to any ability level, making it an ideal exercise for seniors!
Yoga may have holistic benefits for seniors. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, practicing yoga may improve sleep and overall well being. Many seniors have chronic health issues such as pain, fatigue, and immobility which affect their quality of life. Sleep disturbance is a common issue for seniors which greatly affects their feeling of well being during the day. In this study, researchers explored yoga as a therapy to increase the quality of life and improve sleep pattern. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual exercise that can be practiced by children, adults, and seniors. During this study, seniors practiced yoga for six months. After learning yoga techniques and incorporating exercises as part of their daily routine, seniors in this research study reported significant improvement in their quality of sleep and feeling of well being. This research suggests that yoga is a promising therapeutic exercise for seniors. Many seniors can enjoy yoga in their home. Caregivers and seniors can attend local yoga classes and continue with the exercises in their home. Many instructors may also come to your home for private lessons. Ask at your local senior center for a referral for classes in your area.