Yoga and meditation offer a variety of benefits for seniors ranging from aiding with arthritis, improving cognitive health for those who suffer from, and preventing in the development of dementia. It also offers individuals a way to stay active more easily without threat of serious injury as is prevalent with traditional exercise.
Arthritis requires individuals to stay active to reduce joint pain and stiffness, however, exercise can seem like a daunting task when suffering from such an ailment. There is also the concern of sustaining an injury or worsening joint pain while participating in traditional exercise. Yoga can help alleviate these symptoms without causing the practitioner to undergo any strenuous physical activities. With poses such as "Forearm Downward Dog," an arthritis-friendly take on a classic yoga pose, and "Cobbler's Pose," a pose that opens the hips and allows the individual to take the time to massage their feet. Yoga also improves the individual's flexibility reduce inflammation.
The benefits of practicing yoga extend to dementia as well. Chronic stress and the associated hormones negatively affect brain structure and increase the likelihood of developing dementia and Alzheimer's. Yoga reduces stress hormones and inflammatory factors while helping individuals learn how to cope with stress. Yoga poses help individuals focus on breathing, movement, and concentration. These "brain exercises" help the brain form new connections and repair from injuries by stimulating neuroplasticity. Meditation can also aid in the improvement of connectivity. Yoga and meditation have been used in programs to improve symptoms for dementia sufferers, along with other exercise and music therapy. Poses such as the previously mentioned "Cobbler's Pose," which can aid in concentration, and "Bird Dog," which aids in concentration as well as helps the individual utilize the abdominal and back muscles, are some of the many poses that can help with dementia and Alzheimer's, as well as their prevention.
Breath Yoga and Wellness Center, local to Pensacola, offers many classes that can help seniors with health issues such as arthritis and dementia. Chair Yoga is offered weekly at both locations and is recommended for seniors and individuals recovering from surgery, injuries, etc. Yin Yoga is another class that would greatly benefit seniors without requiring a lot of rigorous physical activity. Yin Yoga is offered weekly at the downtown location and three times a week at the scenic location.
Council on Aging of West Florida is compliant with the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. Learn more at www.bbb.org.