Everyone can participate in yoga, no matter what your health condition may be. Gentle yoga exercises can be altered to be more appropriate for you.
The goal is to feel stable and comfortable without undue stress on any part of the body as you move slowly and focus on your breath, body, and movement. While you are paying attention to your breathing, the body is stretching and strengthening in a mindful way. This purposeful exercise can increase brain connections and increase the production of chemicals which stimulate the brain.
As we age, our lung expansion decreases due to declines in chest flexibility and possible spine deformities. Yoga focuses on breathing fully, which triggers the relaxation response. This response lowers stress levels, blood pressure, resting heart rate, and decreases anxiety, pain, and insomnia.
Gentle yoga assists with improvements and awareness of posture and balance. Gentle, slow movements of the spine have proven effective for back pain. Yoga is a non-drug treatment for individuals with arthritis and many chronic illnesses. The immune system is strengthened with regular yoga exercise.
Diana Bernstein, M.S.N.
Wellness Program Coordinator