If you’re thinking about practicing yoga, keep the following tips in mind the following tips that were developed by Go4Life from the National Institute on Aging at NIH:
Put safety first. Yoga is generally safe in healthy people. However, if you have special health considerations such as a joint replacement, arthritis, balance problems, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or other health issues, talk with your health care provider before starting yoga. Start with an appropriate yoga class—such as one called Gentle Yoga or Seniors Yoga—in order to get individualized advice and learn correct form
Look for a well-trained instructor who’s attentive to your needs. Ask about the teacher’s experience and training. Standards for teacher training and certification differ depending on the style of yoga.
Practice mindfully. Be sure to let your yoga teacher know about any medical issues you have and ask about the physical demands of yoga. Listen to your body. Yoga poses should be modified based on individual abilities. Be careful to avoid overstretching. Because older adults are at higher risk of developing strains and sprains when doing yoga, you may need to modify or avoid some poses to prevent injury.
For more information on yoga for older adults, including help finding a yoga instructor who has specialized training in working with older adults, go to www.yoga4seniors.com
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