By Gopi Rao
As we age, our bodies change. Sometimes this means our heart function, lung function and even our balance can all be affected. Different conditions can lead to lifestyle changes and the need for medications. For women, bone density changes, which means that they need to adjust their fitness needs accordingly. Yoga is a wonderful way to keep the body strong, as well as the mind. Unlike high impact activities such as running or aerobics, Yoga training is a structural and low impact option that can be practiced by people who might be limited as to what types of exercise they are allowed to do.
Many people who start practicing Yogic techniques after 50 have never done it before. However, they soon find that it is a healthy and calming form of exercises that can help them in a number of ways. Yoga training has been found to be beneficial for a number of conditions that can occur after a certain age, including blood pressure issues and other stress related illnesses that are so common today. For many people, Yoga has a calming effect that is often desperately needed in today’s busy world.
Many people over 50 suffer from some type of joint pain, most notably in the hips and knees. Arthritis can be a painful condition that can severely limit movement. Yet doing gentle stretching and moving through certain types of asanas can treat it. Asana practice can help decrease the pain and loss of function due to joint issues. It can increase flexibility and therefore lead to better overall function. Of course, Yogic practices can also help ease stress and other emotional upsets. It teaches us how to use our breathing as we move through the asanas to help ground us.
As a Yoga teacher, you will often be faced with new people in your class that may be skeptical as to the restorative powers of Yogic techniques. Although it is not your job to convince them and convert them, you can help lead them in the right direction. There’s no doubt that the practice of asana, meditation and pranayama can help people, no matter what age they are.
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