Yoga has long been recognized for a variety of health benefits, including mental and cognitive health. For seniors, it can be a great form of exercise, which builds strength, balance and flexibility. Yoga also can have a number of benefits for the brain health of seniors.
Improves Brain Function & Memory
Yoga can increase memory functioning and improve overall cognitive health. It has been linked with slowing the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as increasing the speed at which a brain can process information. Researchers believe that regular yoga practice may improve the production of a protein called brain-derived neuropathic growth factor, which can stimulate neural growth.
Protects Mental Health
Cognitive decline has been linked to mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Yoga can help fight mental illness and decrease the levels of anxiety, hopelessness, and depression many patients feel.
Opportunity for Socialization
Learning yoga in a class is a great way for seniors to get out and connect with others. Staying socially active can help slow cognitive decline and boost brain functioning. Additionally, learning in a class is a safer, easier way to practice yoga. A teacher and class can provide support and guidance.
Reduces Stress Levels
The hippocampus is the part of the brain that regulates emotions and memory, but it is highly susceptible to cortisol. This hormone is released in response to stress and can cause damage throughout the brain and body. Yoga reduces stress and provides seniors with tools like meditation and exercise to help them handle stress, which in turn lowers cortisol levels.
Finding the Right Practice for You
Learning or practicing yoga is a very personal experience. If you or your aging loved one is an experienced practitioner, you may enjoy a practice alone. For those new to yoga, however, a class with an instructor can be the best way to begin. An instructor who is familiar with the needs of seniors can recommend modifications and provide tools to help older adults get the most out of their practice, while also ensuring their safety.
At King Street Rehab, we offer a variety of services to boost the cognitive and physical wellbeing of seniors. Our Westchester County rehabilitation center is fully staffed by highly trained professionals, including physical and recreational therapists. Discover our services and explore our beautiful facility by scheduling a free tour today.
Contact our rehab facility by calling (914) 937-5800.