“Yoga for Seniors: The Physical, Psychological, and Social Benefits of Practicing as You Age”

2023-05-18 07:55:15

An article by Mayte Vázquez Resino,
Health psychologist


In this post we are going to highlight the importance of practicing yoga, both physically and mentally in older people. Although it is advisable to start practicing yoga at an early age, the benefits that are acquired in its practice are similar at later ages.

The objective of developing active aging is necessary today, both on a personal and social level. Yoga, due to the benefits it provides, helps to cope with these difficulties in the process that accompanies aging, such as chronic pain or one’s own psychological distress that accompanies those feelings of aging.

Practicing yoga, like any other healthy habit or pleasurable activity, as is the practice of mindfulnessshould be incorporated into our lives as a regular practice, since it helps to correct inappropriate movements and, above all, to prevent frequent injuries in older people, as well as helps to improve people’s muscle flexibility and fitness.

At a psychological level, fundamentally, problems related to anxiety, insomnia, depression are softened and, above all, it helps to obtain positive energy, influencing a more positive attitude towards difficult moments in life.

Below is a series of physical, psychological and social benefits that are obtained with the regular practice of yoga.

Benefits of yoga to combat aging

As we have pointed out, yoga is an enormously beneficial activity, as it helps to mitigate some of the symptoms of aging. According to some studies, the combination of some physical postures and yoga breathing techniques can help to alleviate chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, arthritis, prevention of sciatica and musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases and above all to calm the mind “wandering“the mind”de mono” which causes a lot of the mental and emotional discomforts.

Let’s list the most representative in these areas:

  • Physical benefits of yoga

In addition to burning calories and toning muscles, practicing yoga on a physical level helps strengthen the bodythereby increasing flexibility and improving balance and resistance, we also highlight the improvement of breathing, helping to relax and alleviate some respiratory diseases.

  • Psychological benefits

Some of the most beneficial aspects on a psychological level are:

– The best of the memory. Regular yoga practice helps minimize cognitive problems related to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

– Improvement of mood. Due to the increase in serotonin, the regular practice of yoga produces significant improvements in patients with depression and anxiety, positively influencing the mood of those who practice it.

– Helps reduce anxiety and stressas it reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that regulates stressful situations.

– Improves the dream. One of the functions of serotonin is to increase the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles. The practice of yoga increases serotonin levels so it helps to sleep better.

– Improves the development of sustained attention, concentration and relaxation. The practice of yoga requires concentration, it is an activity in which body and mind are in harmony, producing a state of intense relaxation.

geriatricarea yoga
  • Social benefits of yoga

On a social level, the fact that it can be practiced in a group causes a greater interconnection and in many vital moments a greater social cohesion, so necessary at this moment of the vital cycle.

In addition, reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness and therefore depression. We must not forget that depression tends to isolate us and in these cases loneliness not chosen has very harmful consequences. In this sense, the practice of yoga helps to relate to other people and meet new people, so it helps to combat those negative feelings, which also tend to feed back.

Finally, the improvement of social relations produces an increase in a more serene and kind mind, especially the feeling of autonomy and resilience, seeing themselves capable of building more balanced and deeper relationships.

Some studies carried out in the elderly on the practice of yoga.

We can report that studies, such as the one recently conducted at the University of Illinois, show that just two months of consistent yoga can improve reasoning ability and memory functioncognitive symptoms associated with the aging process.

Likewise, a study carried out by Bel Marra Health shows how the practice of yoga can help combat depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety in the elderly. For the study, the researchers analyzed 13 literature reviews representing 185 articles. The researchers found that yoga has the potential to offer benefits to those who suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Other studies, carried out in this area, discover that yoga is capable of incredibly effectively prolonging numerous mental health problems. Instead of masking the symptoms, yoga targets the root of the problem to provide lasting relief.

A review of studies on relaxation exercises, published in the journal Aging & Mental Health, found that the ancient practice of yoga offered the most effective and long-lasting relief from depression and anxiety. Researchers say that up to 40 percent of older adults report anxiety, and 15 to 20 percent experience depression, justifying relaxation techniques for the 60-plus age group.


After examining that yoga is a discipline that harmonizes the body, mind and soul, through postures (or asanas), correct breathing and meditation, they make its practice is recommended for people of all ages. You just have to adapt the postures to the strength and mobility of the elderly. Progressively, the body will be molded to new movements and postures.

In the centers, it is recommended and should be integrated as a beneficial practice, together with the rest of the optional activities to be carried out.

To conclude that yoga is recommended, along with other techniques, such as listening to music, tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, massage therapy, mindfulness, and aromatherapy, among others, such as one of the most recommended practices to achieve this general well-being.


Bel Marra Cheers. (2016). Yoga can help fight depression, PTSD, and anxiety in older people. Available in: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/yoga-may-help-combat-depression-ptsd-anxiety-in-seniors/

Orpea Residences. (2019). Benefits of yoga in the elderly. Available in: https://orpea.es/beneficios-del-yoga-en-las-personas-mayores/

Stannah.es.(s/f). 5 Benefits of Yoga to combat aging. Available in: https://blog.stannah.es/salud-y-bienestar/beneficios-yoga-envejecimiento/

About the author

Mayte Vázquez Resino is a Health Psychologist, an active member of the Good Treatment of the Elderly group of the Official College of Psychology of Madrid. Volunteer and active member of the Specific Action Team for People with Greater Vulnerability (EAE + Vulnerability) of “Grandes Amigos”.

Trainer and expert in intervention in cognitive and emotional development, Mindfulness, Montessori and Positive Psychology in older people.

#practice #yoga #improvement #quality #life #wellbeing

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