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Seated Yoga - Synergy Dance Outreach

The Benefits of Yoga as we Age

In light of our new ParaStars yoga programmes and Yoga for mainstream we decided to do some research on the benefits of yoga as we age, and here’s what we found!

Yoga minimises the risk of strain or joint pain for elderly people who want to stay active. It is a wonderful option that can keep you flexible without straining your muscles and boost your mood.

Research suggests that yoga has numerous benefits for older people:

Better sleep habits Yoga can help you sleep soundly. A study found that seniors practising yoga reduced the time it took to fall asleep by ten minutes on average, and sleep duration improved by an average of one hour.

Improve strength and protect joints – even if you have arthritis. One study found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis and those without the condition both experienced better grip strength in the hands after practising yoga. Yoga can reduce the risk of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Manage type 2 diabetes After practising yoga for 40 days, a group of 30-to 60-year-olds with type 2 diabetes saw a significant fall in their blood sugar levels.

Reduce high blood pressure One study discovered that patients with mild to moderate high blood pressure saw a decline in readings after three months of daily yoga. There was a similar drop in cholesterol, blood sugar and triglycerides.

Lose weight Older people who practise yoga every week for at least four years have around 1.4 kilograms less weight gain than the average adult.

Reduce anxiety and improve mood People who enjoy yoga often report a decline in their anxiety and better mood. Research suggests that yoga is better at this than other forms of exercise. Yoga practice causes high levels of the brain chemical GABA, which calms the body.

Aid chronic pain One study found that those with chronic pain either improved or maintained their symptoms after four weeks of yoga; all patients significantly reduced their pain medication.

Help breathing and the lungs One study discovered that yoga practice can boost lung capacity by 10 per cent after 40 days. Bronchial asthmatics have also benefited from just 30 minutes of yoga breathing techniques.

Bone strength Yoga helps seniors at risk of osteoporosis by slowing bone thinning. Research has shown that it is even possible for older people to gain bone density when practising yoga.

Enhance mental states and prevent cognitive decline Yoga practice can reduce stress and maintain energy levels, which can boost the mind. Various studies have explored yoga’s beneficial effect on stress and anxiety. One study showed that women who completed two yoga classes a week for three months reported less depression and enhanced wellbeing. Regular practice is associated with anatomical changes in the parts of the brain that deal with ageing-related cognitive decline.

Maintain flexibility Yoga minimises the strain associated with strength training and high-intensity exercises. As a low-impact exercise, yoga carries less risk of injury and helps seniors build muscle strength and joint flexibility. Gentle stretches maintain a good range of motion in participants.

Synergy ParaStars Yoga® for Adults & Seniors is a seated yoga programme for adults/the elderly with a disability or long-term health condition or limited range of movement. Benefits for adults and older participants include better posture, fitness, physical and motor skills, spatial awareness, balance, coordination and flexibility as well as the improvements listed above.

This stress relieving programme increases confidence and range of movement and enriches everyday life. The lessons include some exercises for the upper body only and some exercises for both the upper and lower body to offer diversity and different levels.Seniors should start gradually with yoga, especially if they have a long-term health condition. Synergy instructors take into account each participant’s level of fitness and experience when delivering our fun and stimulating yoga classes.

Find out more about online programmes here.

Benefits of Yoga as we age