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Yoga for Seniors � Using Yoga to Reverse Aging

by Barry Craft

Yoga has become quite a popular exercise for people of all ages, but especially for the seniors. Yoga exercise for elderly people can help reverse the aging process and provide a wide range of positive benefits even if practiced on a moderate basis. There are many styles of yoga ranging in degree of difficulty. However, the basic moves and positions can be utilized by any age group. It is all about how you approach your exercise program that makes the difference. Since everyone is unique, it is always advisable to see your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can provide positive health benefits for anyone but can be especially helpful for those more mature adults. The three main areas of development would be balance, stretching, and strength. Balancing exercises strengthen leg muscles and help to prevent falling. Every year in the U.S. there are tens of thousands of patients admitted for broken hips and usually some type of fall is the reason for the bone fractures. Balancing exercises can also help you avoid disabilities that may result from falling.

Beginning Yoga Exercises
Stretching exercises can increase your range of motion and allow you to do more of the things you need and want to do. Stretching by itself is not designed to enhance strength or endurance, however keeping one's muscles more flexible can also reduce strains and may improve circulation as well. Flexibility exercises, such as stretching, might help keep your body and joints limbered up, which could help prevent injuries and falling. It sometimes can speed up a recovery from an injury. Exercises for strength help build muscle as well as increasing your metabolic rate. This stabilizes blood sugar which and helps you maintain a healthier weight. By having stronger muscles, you will be less likely to need frequent assistance in doing your normal routines.

The Mental Benefits of Yoga
Besides the physical attributes of yoga, there are several mental benefits seniors can enjoy. By definition, yoga means union; therefore it is no surprise that one of the main underlying concepts is to achieve greater peace and harmony by better uniting the body and spirit. Perspectives on life and ourselves tend to change as we advance in age. The spiritual side of the world receives more importance as we grow older - this forms an excellent foundation for elderly people to start practicing yoga.

Proper Warm-ups for Seniors
It is recommended for seniors to begin their yoga exercise with slow, controlled motions. This phase can last for several weeks or longer depending on the individual. It is especially important in the earlier stages to avoid muscle sprains and strains. That will make the experience more enjoyable and safer while reducing the chances for injury. Even while using this slow gradual approach, many retirees can still benefit from improved circulation, range of motion and vitality.

Improve Your Circulation
Another benefit of yoga that most seniors can experience is improved circulation. This helps to better utilize the oxygen in their blood vessels resulting in improved memory and concentration. Many elderly people experience losses in these areas as the age increases and yoga can help reduce or reverse some of these effects. Seniors have many options for keeping fit through various forms of light exercise. One of the most important and often overlooked keys to staying healthy is proper breathing. That happens to be one of the foundations of yoga. Air feeds our bodies just as much as food and water does. Slow, deep breathing through the nose helps to cleanse the body on many different levels.

Just Get Started
Contrary to popular belief, yoga does not require years of practice to attain many positive results. In fact many elderly people really look forward to their yoga exercise sessions not only for the increased vitality also opportunities or social contacts if done in a group situation. The biggest key to succeeding is just get started.

Feel free to reprint this article in its entirety in your ezine or web site, as long as you include the resource box and the active link to my website. Please notify me when it is used. Barry Craft is the owner and webmaster of http://www.Yoga-Exercise-Help.com .