Senior woman holding a yoga pose.

The Best Yoga Styles For Seniors

Yoga is an excellent workout option for people of any age. However, it can be especially helpful for older adults who are looking to improve balance, manage chronic pain or arthritis, improve strength and enhance overall well-being. There are several different styles of yoga, ranging from gentle stretching to an intense cardio workout. If you are interested in incorporating yoga into your current exercise regime, here is a primer on the best yoga styles for seniors. As always, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a new form of exercise.

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga cultivates a strong mind-body connection and can be helpful for staying in better tune one’s body and emotions. Numerous studies confirm the significant mental and physical benefits offered by this form of exercise. For many people, yoga also has a spiritual component and can enhance feelings of gratitude and positivity. Here are just some of the benefits of starting a yoga practice: 

  • Improved balance and flexibility. 
  • Reduced blood pressure. 
  • Relief from chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. 
  • Improved breathing and increased lung capacity. 
  • Reduced instances of depression and anxiety. 
  • Improved bone density.
  • Better sleep quality.

Yoga Styles for Seniors 

There are numerous styles of yoga, but not every style is appropriate for every student. Before taking on a yoga program, it is helpful to consider individual skill level and goals (weight loss, strength, etc.). Here is a summary of yoga styles that may be a good fit for seniors:

  • Restorative Yoga. Perhaps the ultimate in soothing and restful yoga, this style focuses on slow and gentle yoga poses that are held for a long period of time. Restorative yoga uses props like blocks, straps, blankets and bolsters to make the practice easier and gentler for those who may have limited flexibility.
  • Yin Yoga. This is an ideal type of yoga for beginners. Poses are conducted in a seated position and are held for an extended period of time, usually 45 seconds or more. This style is also highly spiritual and focuses on breathing and finding inner peace.
  • Hatha Yoga. Classes for this more general type of yoga usually incorporate a number of different yoga styles. For this reason, Hatha is often popular with beginners. Participants are encouraged to work at their own pace and gradually progress to more challenging postures.
  • Iyengar Yoga. With a focus on proper form and correct alignment, this style of yoga is helpful for focusing the mind and for improving posture and balance. Similar to Restorative Yoga, Iyengar practitioners use props to aid in ensuring the proper alignment and positioning. 
  • Bikram Yoga. Also known as “hot yoga”, this style is great for those who like to work up a sweat. The studio is heated to around 105 degrees and participants perform a series of 26 poses twice. Adherents believe that Bikram helps them sweat out toxins and promotes supple muscles and ligaments. 
  • Ashtanga Yoga. This vigorous style of yoga is often practiced by more experienced yogis. Ashtanga is based on a six series of poses called “asanas” which gradually increase in intensity. Although this is a challenging yoga style, participants are encouraged to go at their own pace.

Artisan At Hudson focuses on providing seniors with an active and engaging lifestyle. Our uniquely designed health and wellness programs help residents live their healthiest, happiest life. To learn more about Artisan at Hudson or to schedule a tour, contact us today.