Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has found its way into the modern fitness lifestyles of many active adults. This highly adaptive practice offers a wealth of benefits, including increased strength, flexibility, and mental clarity. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that active adult communities throughout the country have embraced yoga programs.
The Basics of Yoga
Though yoga has been practiced for centuries, it is only in the past few decades that this Eastern philosophy became popular in the Western world. In its truest form, yoga is much more than an exercise program. It is a philosophy which brings together body and mind to create a sense of peace and well-being. The traditional practice of yoga extends to diet and lifestyle, yet the many benefits can be achieved without this piece of the program.
Most modern practitioners focus on three elements of yoga: breath, poses, and meditation. Yoga poses (asanas) should be practiced mindfully. The goal of yoga is to work at your own pace, finding the place in the pose where you feel challenged, but do not feel pain. Breathwork is an integral part of the practice. If you are unable to maintain steady breathing during any pose, you are pushing yourself too hard.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is often considered a form of complementary or alternative medicine. Its practice has been shown to reduce stress, increase fitness, and help with weight loss. Yoga has also been shown to help with many chronic conditions, such as cancer, pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and various autoimmune disorders.
Active adults tend to enjoy yoga for its adaptability as well. Yoga poses can be modified to nearly any fitness level. Yoga programs can be tailored to help with specific health problems or focus on overall conditioning.
There are very few supplies needed for a yoga workout. A yoga mat will help your hands and feet grip the floor during practice. Yoga straps, bricks, blankets, and other supplies make it easier to modify certain poses, but they can usually be replaced with similar household objects.
Active Adult Communities That Offer Yoga
Yoga classes are available in both large, resort-style communities and in smaller, more intimate neighborhoods. Just a few of the communities that offer yoga classes include:
Kings Gate - Florida
Sun City Anthem - Nevada
Solera at Oak Valley Greens - California
Trilogy at Redmond Ridge - Washington
Yoga practice is generally safe for most active adults. Care should be taken by those with certain medical conditions, including balance problems, artificial joints, severe osteoporosis, glaucoma, or uncontrolled high blood pressure. Before beginning yoga, or any exercise program, it is always a good idea to check in with your doctor.
For active adults who want to experience the many benefits of yoga for themselves, classes at active adult communities are often an ideal way to begin. With regular practice, yoga can reduce stress, improve flexibility, and strength, provide mental clarity, and help manage chronic health conditions. If you have not yet experienced yoga, try a few classes and see what you are missing, and you'll likely meet some fitness-minded friends along the way.