Monday, April 9, 2018

Older Adult Yoga Benefits: Revisiting My Downward Dog (Research, Driving Video 4:05)

When yoga is recommended by AARP.orgformerly the American Association of Retired Persons, you know credible yoga research supported the endorsement. Years of research conclude that health benefits of yoga are especially effective for adults 50 years and older. Among the many reasons that encourage practicing yoga during these ages are improvements in blood pressure, bone strengthening, joint protection, weight loss, balance, mind sharpening, and reduced anxiety.

Downward dog is a popular yoga pose. What does it mean? Is it a dog fallen in battle? Or is it my older self  meeting yoga again after years of separation in exchange for fast-paced aerobic classes? I stared in awe as Ellie, my older adult teacher did challenging poses with ease. But, when I posed on the mat after being away so long, I worried that I might burn out before I finished. Ellie encouraged  the class by saying, “You are amazing! You’re moving your own blood!” with all the enthusiasm of winning the lottery.

Nowadays, I still take a few high-energy exercise classes to stay well-rounded, and my yoga is making progress. I enjoy chair yoga with classmates and my teacher Gail who ends sessions with peace and a joke. Chair yoga is popular for people of all ages for various reasons. Having many of the same benefits as yoga on a mat, chair yoga can often be done wherever someone is seated, even at work.

The following video illustrates how chair yoga is being used by older adults in California to extend the time they can drive their cars.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Aurora. Our fastest growing senior population is really making strides in the exercise world.

  2. This is an inspiration to all of us on the older side of life. Let's make this time of life a time of active maintenance rather than a decline.

    1. Good advice, Dave. Too many seniors focus on declining and become their own worst enemies. Seniors, stop believing in ageism stereotypes, even in jokes. Create your own reality focusing on all the things you CAN do if you really try. Happy endings indeed!