Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat


Looking to feel better from head to toe? Try yoga! According to John Hopkins Medicine, it’s one of the best ways to stay active as you age.

Research shows yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and abilities. 

There are few forms of exercise that can compete with the simplicity and accessibility of yoga. 

Yoga originated in India and includes physical poses, breathwork, and meditation. There are many yoga styles, including Hatha, restorative, and hot yoga – each with a specific emphasis. Some yoga practices even include animals – you can take a yoga class with your dog or even baby goats!

You can reap the benefits of yoga virtually anytime or anywhere with little to no equipment. All you need is a little bit of space to move around.

What makes yoga so remarkable? Let’s take a look.

Yoga improves strength, balance and flexibility.

Slow movements, gentle stretching, and deep breathing all increase the blood flow to your muscles. Holding a pose builds strength and improves flexibility. Plus, yoga poses are easy to modify to accommodate all ability levels. As you improve, you can continue to find ways to challenge yourself. 

Yoga helps with back pain and arthritis symptoms.

Yoga is an excellent way to ease pain and improve mobility in people with lower back pain. The American College of Physicians recommends yoga as a first-line treatment for chronic lower back pain.

A group of researchers from Johns Hopkins reviewed 11 studies and found gentle yoga can ease some of the discomfort experienced by people with arthritis.

Yoga boosts heart health.

Some studies from the American Heart Association suggest that mind-body practice may be good for heart health, from reducing blood pressure and cholesterol to lowering stress and body-mass index.

Regular yoga practice may also reduce levels of body-wide inflammation, contributing to better heart health.

Yoga helps you sleep better and stress less.

Do you struggle with insomnia? Research shows a bedtime yoga routine can help you get in the right mindset and prepare your body to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Yoga also encourages mindfulness, which can help ease stress and anxiety. 

Yoga connects you with a supportive community. 

Although you can practice yoga on your own, yoga classes are a great way to meet others in your community. Classes can open the door to new friendships and social opportunities.

Taking a class with a friend or family member can add accountability and motivation, too.

Yoga can increase your energy and brighten your mood.

After establishing a yoga routine you may notice you have more mental and physical energy  and a boost in alertness.

Yoga has been shown to provide a host of mental health benefits. At Senior Star, our communities offer a Laughter Yoga Program where participants combine unconditional laughter and yogic breathing.

Our certified Laughter Yoga instructors lead participants through the program, based on the scientific fact that the body cannot distinguish between fake and real laughter. The same physiological and psychological benefits are achieved whether the laugh came naturally or not.

Interested in learning more about all of the programs designed to promote healthy living at Senior Start communities?

Contact us to learn more about what’s available on a weekly basis at communities in your area.