Many senior citizens find that their mobility, flexibility and body strength has certain limitations. This can be due to injuries, the aging process, arthritis and other health conditions. There is also in some people a fear of falling and concern of the recovery involved in breaking a hip.
On the other side of things, many elderly people have more free time and wish to increase their blood circulation, range of motion and stay in shape. Women are advised by their physicians to exercise to help with bone density. Exercise is also advised for heart health and to maintain blood pressure levels.
Fortunately, there are forms of yoga that help one stay active yet take into account some of the limitations that many people have. Senior yoga classes can include restorative yoga, gentle yoga and chair sessions. Breathing, relaxation, gentle stretching and body strengthening are part of the classes, but done much less vigorously than ashtanga or other types of classes. Of course, in any yoga class, one can modify the movements and do them in accord with one's own circumstance.
It is important to not spend the days only in sedentary living but to continue some type of physical activity routine unless your doctor advises against it. Not only is this important physically, but mentally it is very encouraging and lifting to the spirit to be able to do some physical movements that might have seemed impossible. Senior yoga classes also are a social setting where friendships can be built and new interactions broadened.
Some people feel cautious of trying yoga because some of the postures or asanas can appear to be contorted or required developed balancing skills. Yoga for seniors classes are taught with modifications so that people with any degree of flexibility can join in. The teacher will discuss with students how to adapt poses for various conditions and situations so that you are comfortable and still challenge yourself.