In the past few decades Yoga has established itself as a movement system that promotes physical and mental health and wellbeing, and we find it in health studios and gyms all across the UK. However, there is a demographic that Yoga could serve, but which is currently being ignored except by a few: those aged 65 years and over.
This demographic is now the world's fastest growing. Globally, for the first time, in 2018 older people (65+) outnumbered children under the age of five. In England, with a current population just over 53 million, over 17 million people are aged 65 and over, nearly a third of our population (see figures in the Appendix).
Yet few health centres and activity centres offer programmes suitable for the over 65s. The Traditional Yoga Association has designed our ForLife Yoga® Programme specifically to offer all aspects of Yoga ~ including its physical and philosophical aspects ~ to this age group.
The ForLife Yoga® classes take into account the needs of those of us who are now part of the mature population, including:
Asana : Some Yoga postures are done while seated on a chair, others while standing ~ and even seated on mats for those that can still do it. Classes are created to accord with different abilities and your teacher will help you find a class suitable for your needs.
Kriya-s : One of the major problems as we age is falling. Falls are the single largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people, costing the NHS over £400 million annually (NHS, 2017). There are several factors in ageing that lead to falling, however, sarcopenia ~ muscle loss ~ is by far the leading cause. Any exercise programme offered to over 65s needs to address this issue. To that end, as well as asana-s we introduce ~ as one of our kriya-s ~ the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP). Research has shown that the Otago Exercise Programme (OEP) is the leading falls prevention programme. The OEP is an evidence-based training programme designed specifically to prevent falls in older adults.
Breathwork : Added to this we offer the Yoga breathing exercises that are suitable for people of 65+ (e.g. excluding any that could cause hyperventilation).
Relaxation / Meditation : We also include meditation and mindfulness practices that have demonstrated their ability to assist with issues like stress, anxiety, depression and mild cognitive impairment.
Teacher Training: The ForLife Yoga® Teachers Course is open to all trained Yoga teachers. For more information please contact info@TraditionalYoga.org for more details.
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