As we get older, we lose the flexibility and balance that we used to have. Sometimes, when we are physically inactive, our mobility can become limited as we age. Contrary to popular belief, becoming weaker and less mobile is not a normal sign of aging.
So, what can we do to keep our mobility intact? How can we remain vital and energetic for the duration of our lives?
The answer may be as close as the nearest yoga class.
A study conducted in 2006 at the Oregon Health and Science University, showed that there are positive effects on mental function and quality of life, in seniors who practiced yoga for six months. Participants were between the ages of 65 and 85. Not only did quality of life increase, but flexibility and balance also improved.
The risk for falls increases as people age. Practicing yoga can help seniors maintain their balance, build strength, and boost flexibility, keeping us vital and active.
Although the most benefit comes from years of yoga practice, it is possible to start at any age and reap the rewards.
Most yoga instructors are aware of varying abilities in their classes, and will teach modified forms of the poses, based on a student's physical capabilities. Success comes from regular practice.
Go at your own pace and only do what you can. Don't try to force the poses. Gradually as you progress, flexibility and strength will improve, and postures can be achieved more easily.
As always, before starting any exercise program, check with your doctor.
Where to take yoga? Night school classes, the YMCA, local gyms, and yoga centers all offer beginning, intermediate and master classes.
Some of the yoga centers in the Buffalo area include:
Bikram Yoga Hamburg: 266 Buffalo St., Hamburg, NY (716)627-0088
Bikram Yoga Williamsville: 5459 Main St. #2, Williamsville, NY (716)634-9642
East Meets West: 758 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo NY (716)885-9100
Evolation Yoga: 912 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY (716)882-4151
Hand to Heart Yoga: 425 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY (716)507-8422
Himalayan Institute Buffalo Yoga and Meditation: 841 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY (716)883-2223
Power Yoga Buffalo: 4575 Main St., Buffalo, NY (716)218-9642
Shakti Yoga: 13 Grant St., Buffalo, NY (716)884-9642