The Benefits of Yoga Are Far Reaching

Stephanie Chong

For over a decade, a dedicated group of NNV members have gathered at 2:00 on Monday for yoga and fellowship. It’s no wonder why this group of dedicated yogis return week after week. Studies show that the benefits of yoga in older adults are far reaching.  Data suggests that yoga improves mobility, reduces the risk for falls, protects against cognitive decline, improves strength, balance, and sleep, and benefits mental well-being.

This New York Times article addresses the benefits of yoga in old age.  As we get older, we lose muscle and our tendons stiffen. While yoga cannot reverse these changes, it can can play a small role in preventing further decline.

The article recommends that beginners start with low-intensity activity and slowly increasing the duration and difficulty to minimize risk of injury. Gentle yoga and chair yoga are good options for beginners because they offer a slower pace, fewer intense poses, and focus on meditation and relaxation.

Mayu Suzuki who teaches NNV’s weekly class has experience working with older adults and offers modifications so everyone can practice yoga within their ability. Mayu shares her philosophy here:

“Yoga is about finding what works for each individual rather than doing the same exact pose as the teacher or your neighbors. In our chair yoga classes, I offer plenty of different versions of the same pose because I believe you know your body the best. My goal is to encourage students to choose the one that suits them the best. It's extremely helpful to simply sit on the chair and breathe for an hour if that's what you choose to do. A lot of times that's all we need. It's the best way to regulate your nervous system so we can relax and be present. I know how important balance is to our Village yogis so we spend a good amount of time on feet, toes, and learn how to distribute weight, which essentially is balance!”

If you’d like to try yoga with Mayu, click here to sign up for Monday’s class. NNV members have exclusive access to Mayu’s recorded classes so you can take a yoga class any time or any day. Members can access the recordings by clicking here.

We hope to see you at a future class. Please check with your physician before starting yoga or any other new exercise program.

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