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More than ever before, Americans older than age 65 are turning to yoga for exercise. What is yoga, and why is it so popular? Yoga is a series of stretches and poses that you do with breathing techniques. It offers the powerful benefits of exercise. And since yoga is gentle, almost anyone can do it, regardless of age or fitness level.
Yoga can make you stronger and more flexible. It's a great way to stay limber and energetic. You'll also feel more focused and alert. And yoga can help you feel great and function better in your daily life.
Yoga can also help improve these conditions:
Poor blood circulation
High blood pressure
Lower back pain
Tension or stress
Yoga's gentle movements are a big reason for its popularity. Yoga is good for people who haven't been active or who have certain health conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. You can adapt the exercises to fit your needs. But if you're already fit and want a challenging workout, yoga offers that as well. Yoga is also a great way to supplement cardiovascular fitness activities, such as dancing, walking, or swimming. As you become more flexible with yoga, it's easier to do other kinds of exercise.
The number of times a week you do yoga will depend on your health, your doctor's recommendations, and your own fitness goals. Many people in their 70s and 80s benefit from just taking one class a week, even without practicing at home.
Talk with your doctor before you begin yoga or any other kind of exercise. It's a good idea to take a class with an experienced teacher. Let the teacher know about any health conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure or arthritis. A good teacher will know which exercises are best for you.
Yoga Journal's Yoga Teacher Directory keeps regional and national lists of yoga teachers and associations.