5 Physical Benefits of Yoga as you age

5 Physical Benefits of Yoga as you Age  

      benefits of yoga as you age

Yoga slows the aging process by gradually improving key factors in your physical health.

Balance is a component of many yoga poses, think Warrior, Triangle and of course, Tree Pose.

Remember the old adage, “If you don’t use it you’ll lose it”?

The ability to balance involves both our body and our brain; when not practiced one or both faculties will begin to diminish.

Envision yourself taking walks along the shore in a retirement dream vacation.

Are you sure-footedly making your way from rock to rock or are you watching the scene from a car, too afraid of a fall to enjoy nature?

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons  estimates 1 out of every 2 women and 1 out of every 4 men over 50 will suffer a fracture related to a fall.

Read the article here http://www.aaos.org/about/papers/position/1144.asp

Yes, the balance poses in a Yoga class help to sync communication between the right and left hemispheres of your brain improving balance and agility.

What about Flexibility? Yoga to the rescue once more!  Increased aches, pains and stiffness appear to be part of increasing age for most people.

Unfortunately, some people think Yoga is only for the flexible. Wrong.

Yoga creates flexibility.

In Yoga lies the path to greater comfort in your body as you age. Your willingness to work through yogic poses in the beginning of your practice will bring rewards as you continue. Soon you’ll find the stiffness you felt when getting up out of a chair is a thing of the past!

Spinal flexibility is not just about comfort.   If unchecked, spines will shorten and round. Creating space between the vertebrae with a regular yoga practice lengthens the spine and improves nerve conduction to all the organs.

Yoga builds Strength slowly and safely. Strong muscles increase our protection from the conditions of aging and increase bone density. Weight bearing poses like Down Dog and Cobra requires you to lift your own weight reducing the chance of fractures as you age. Weight bearing poses in Yoga provide a safer option then other exercises that stress cartilage and joints. Read more here http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/good-bone/

Breathing = Life.  A simple equation. One that we don’t take full advantage of.

Yoga increases our lung’s capacity to bring in life force as we tune our attention into our breath. Improving our ability to take in more air increases energy to all our cells and helps us “get up and go” as we age.

Another distinct advantage of proper breathing is lower blood pressure. 1 in 3 American adults will be diagnosed with high blood pressure also known as the Silent Killer.  In a recent study, “Dr. Debbie Cohen of the University of Pennsylvania, led a team of researchers to evaluate exactly the effect yoga had on blood pressure among a total of 58 women and men, aged 38 to 62.                                                                                                         The team found that patients who did yoga in a studio 2 to 3 times per week for 24 weeks experienced a statistically significant drop in their blood pressure, greater than the diet only group.” Read more here  http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260699.php

Proper breathing also improves digestion. Learning to take a full breath gives the digestive organs an encouraging massage. Poor digestion is one of the main reasons people visit their M.D.  Bad digestion may not kill you, but can sure make you miserable.To improve digestion with yogic poses, focus on the twists. Think Seated Twist, Supine Twist and Side Bends. These poses encourage waste materials to move and stimulate circulation to digestive organs.

Body Awareness is valuable at any stage of life, but crucial as we age. Consider the benefits of greater awareness to the messages our body sends us in any given moment. Yoga teaches us to be mindful so that we pay attention to warning signs, offering us the opportunity to correct our course. Sure, this has enormous benefits for our mental, emotional and spiritual health, but also for our physical bodies. Yoga trains us to notice when we’re slouching, alerts us to the onset of stress and lets us know when a much loved food is no longer serving our body.

If you want to put a glow in your golden years start a regular Yoga practice now!