Individuals 65 years old and older are the fastest growing population of the U.S. population and yoga is becoming a popular option as evidence for specific health benefits is becoming evident. There is evidence to suggest that yoga for older individuals can improve the following: balance, physical mobility, flexibility, strengthening, calming awareness, and performance of executive function or ones mental control and self-regulation to help achieve a specific goal. Other potential benefits include: reducing depression or anxiety, decrease pain, and improve mental health.

Due to its many benefits, it makes sense that yoga is becoming popular in the elderly population. We do need to consider a few age-related changes that may put them at increased risk of injury. These include a lower bone mass or density or changes in our muscles and joints that limit our motion and function. Osteoporosis, or more severe bone mass or density loss, can cause a fracture in 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 4 men that are over the age of 50 in their lifetime. Stress on your spine changes with different body positions so modifications may be needed for individuals who may have osteoporosis or osteopenia, any mobility restrictions, or weakness that will put them at increased risk for injury.

Due to the changes in our body as we age, it is important to maintain proper positions and postures with yoga to promote safety and decrease risk of injury. Here at Hegg, we offer yoga for all ages and our yoga instructor has experience working with the elderly population to ensure safe techniques.

Contact the wellness manager, Jordyn Kleinwolterink, at Jordyn.Kleinwolterink@hegghc.org or visit our website at https://www.hegghc.org/health-services/wellness-center/ for more information or questions about the yoga classes that are being offered.

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