Studies have shown that the practice of yoga–including breath work, movement (asana), relaxation, and meditation–offers numerous physiological and psychological health benefits for all age groups. When it comes to older yoga students, the beneficial effects can be particularly helpful in relieving the symptoms of arthritis, hypertension and osteoporosis. These effects include:
- decreased blood pressure
- increased respiratory efficiency
- improved muscular flexibility and range of motion (ROM)
- improved posture
- increased strength and resiliency
- improved immune function
- decreased pain
- improved balance
- loss of weight
Yoga facilitates the release of endorphins, which promote a sense of well-being and can alleviate pain.
Yoga can help end the stress-pain cycle (in which chronic muscle tension creates stress, stress creates pain, pain causes more muscle tension, etc.) that many arthritis sufferers experience.