Silver Yoga Benefits People in Nursing Homes

October 2012 by

Silver Yoga Benefits People in Nursing Homes

Silver Yoga, as a compliment to conventional therapy for dementia, improves the mental and physical health of elderly nursing home residents, according to research from Fooyin University published in a 2011 issue of International Psychogeriatrics.

 

 

What is Silver Yoga?

While you might think of yoga as trendy exercise for the young and fit, yoga is a therapeutic modality appropriate for many people regardless of their age or level of fitness. Silver yoga, also known as Silver Age Yoga, is yoga therapy for seniors. Created by yoga experts and tested for safety, the modified yoga poses in the Silver Yoga program accommodate the limited flexibility frequently found in this aging population. A typical Silver Yoga routine has four components. It starts with eight warm-up exercises, followed by seven gentle Hatha yoga poses, a relaxation pose and guided meditation.

 

 

Nursing Home Residents Do Yoga

To find out if Silver Yoga benefits people in nursing homes, the researchers enrolled 68 residents  diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia – age 60 or older — living in a long-term care facility. Thirty-three participants completed three, 55-minute yoga classes per week for 12 weeks. For this study the researcher omitted the guided mediation portion of the Silver Yoga sequence to reduce the time of the class from 70 minutes to 55 minutes. The remaining 35 participants did not go to yoga classes and acted as the control group.

 

Silver Yoga Health Benefits

The resulting data shows Silver Yoga benefits people in nursing homes. The participants experienced both physical and mental benefits after only 12 weeks of Silver Yoga classes. These seniors also  improved their muscle to fat ratio, blood pressure readings, heart function, lung function, flexibility, strength, endurance and balance. Taking Silver yoga classes also improved their emotional state by significantly reducing depression and incidences of problem behaviors.

Yoga References for Silver Yoga Benefits People in Nursing Homes

“Silver Yoga Benefits People in Nursing Homes” written by Victoria Weinblatt, M.S.Ed., B.S., RYT-200, CMT and senior writer for YogaHathaYoga.com.

 

Feature photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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3 Comments

  1. Victoria

    Silver Yoga benefits people in nursing homes with dementia. This is exciting news for seniors with dementia and the people who love them. Yoga can be therapeutic even for people who aren’t in optimum health. Do you know any seniors who do yoga?

  2. Yogijune

    I have people aged over 80 in my yoga class, and i am amazed at their ability and enthusiasm, and the joyful looks on their faces.

    That is my reward for being a yoga teacher and i love it.

    • Victoria

      Hello Yogi June,
      I hope to someday be 80 and doing yoga. Do you teach a silver yoga class or are your 80-year-old students in regular classes? These yoga studies on the benefits of Silver Yoga are inspiring.

      Namaste, Victoria

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