The Psychological Benefits of Yoga Practice for Older Adults: Evidence and Guidelines

Abstract: Yoga is an effective complementary approach to health maintenance and promotion for older adults and has been demonstrated to support many dimensions of psychological well-being, from everyday stress to anxiety, depression, and coping with health challenges. Yoga has the potential to be even more effective when consciously and systematically integrated into an individual’s overall self-care and medical care program, through deliberate and open dialogue among patients, healthcare professionals, and yoga professionals. Th purpose of this article is to (1) briefly review the psychological benefits of yoga practice for older adults; (2) outline practice guidelines for older adult yoga, including key postures; and (3) provide some basic practical guidelines for both healthcare professionals referring patients to yoga and yoga teachers interested in working with older adults.
Key words: Yoga, meditation, older adult, senior, fitness, complementary and alternative medicine, psychological health, anxiety, depression, stress

IJYT-2011 (Bonura)

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