Yoga empowers seniors

Yoga is such a profound practice when it comes to living holistically, as it upgrades all aspects of our being – the physical body, the mental and emotional body, and the spirit. It’s also accessible to every single kind of body – flexible, stiff, short, tall, big, small, young and old. The yoga door is always open to those who wish to enter. And once you do, you’ll find just how truly empowering yoga is.

A recent study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine examines the physical performance effects and biomechanical correlates on a group of twenty seniors over the age of seventy. This Yoga Empowers Seniors Study consisted of thirty-two weeks of bi-weekly, hour-long HATHA YOGA classes, in which all participants had their functional performance, flexibility, muscle strength, and balance evaluated – at week 16, and again at week 32.

The findings were every bit as positive as you would’ve guessed! Now there is even further evidence to support the need for more yoga programs for seniors – in yoga studios, hospitals, online, and in community dwellings.

While flexibility and balance remained about the same after the 32-week yoga intervention, physical function and muscle-specific lower extremity strength – as measured through timed chair stands, 2-minute step tests, vertical reach, and a practice called the 8-foot up and go – improved significantly. What’s more, isometric knee flexor strength and heel rise repetitions also improved.
The study found that yoga significantly improves physical function and muscle-specific lower extremity strength.

There are plenty of examples in the world of people in their senior years of age, who have an astonishingly healthy physical body and mind by practicing yoga.



Tao Porchon-Lynch, age 98. She practiced yoga since she was 8.



Le Mingchao, 74 year-old yoga instructor in Hangzhou, China.



Bette Calman, 83. Teaches 3 yoga classes per week.



91-year-old Xiao Qinglian, doing a yoga pose
while holding a coin in his mouth, to prove stableness.



97 years old Ida Herbert during a yoga class.



Hou Zhenshan, 85, practiced yoga for the last 30 years.



Bernice Bates doing her yoga practice at age 91.



Kazim Gurbuz showing a yoga pose at age 95.

 

yogaesoteric
October 24, 2018

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