Yoga and Meditation Benefits Those 50+

There are always health challenges as we hit our fragile 50s and beyond. Yoga and Meditation have many benefits. You still must plan for longevity but grow old with better health.

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Yoga and Meditation Benefits Those 50+
4 Min Read August 27th, 2018 Updated:August 6th, 2020

Yoga combines poses, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation to improve physical health and mindfulness. Studies have shown that yoga benefits people of all ages by reducing stress, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, relieving anxiety and depression, and improving overall fitness, flexibility, and strength.

Benefits to Seniors

As you age, muscles stiffen, joints lose range of motion, and chronic issues like osteoporosis and arthritis become more prevalent. Yoga won’t stop the aging process in its tracks, but it slows its effects while helping you to keep your body, mind, and spirit healthier and stronger.

Practicing Yoga in your 50s, 60s, 70s, and Beyond

Yoga reduces hypertension caused by stress. It can even eliminate your dependency on medication for high blood pressure. Experts theorize that yoga’s slow, controlled breathing decreases your nervous system’s activity.

Our bodies begin to show signs of osteoporosis and low bone density in our 50s. Yoga’s weight-bearing activity slows bone thinning and reduces the risks of osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women.

Perceived threats activate your body’s sympathetic nervous system. Your heart rate increases, your muscles tense, and you start to sweat—a lot. Yoga activates your parasympathetic nervous system, slowing and stopping the release of adrenaline and cortisol by inducing the relaxation response, regulating your body’s response to stress.

When you hit your late 50s and early 60s, you might notice a few more creaks in your joints, but regular yoga practice keeps them lubricated and nourished, thus holding back carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults. Yoga’s poses and slow, measured movements increase balance and stability. It tones muscles and exercises your proprioception—or sense of position in space. Postures that emphasize standing and balance keep your proprioception from atrophying.

2017 study on the use of yoga to prevent and treat medical conditions also indicated that therapeutic yoga’s incorporation of breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation positively impacts the body in many ways. Psychological benefits include increased mental energy and positive feelings while decreasing aggression, depression, and anxiety.

Meditation and Deep Breathing

Another important component of yoga, meditation, and breathing helps to keep your mind sharp, boost your mood, and increase concentration by stimulating the brain and nervous system. Meditation allows you to keep distractions away and focus on the here and now.

Pranayama, or controlled breathing, stills the mind and coaxes the nervous system into a relaxed state. Deep, controlled breathing also increases lung capacity, improves posture, and eases insomnia.

Types of Yoga to Try

Whether you’ve got limited mobility, are trying yoga for the first time or returning to the practice, your age, fitness level, and physical ability will determine the best yoga for you.

Hatha yoga is gentle and perfect for beginners, those returning after a long break, or people with limited flexibility and low muscle tone. It encourages you to stretch, unwind, and release tension and, for some, maybe physically (or mentally) challenging.

Iyengar yoga uses props to make postures more easily attainable. This style uses blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters to help align your body properly while learning and holding each pose.

Viniyoga yoga (which is different from vinyasa yoga) uses a holistic, therapeutic approach designed to improve each student’s well-being and health. It’s a one-on-one experience that allows the teacher to customize and adapt each pose specifically to you and your needs.

Kripalu is similar to hatha in that it emphasizes meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation. Beginners hold poses for short times that gradually increase as they become more comfortable. It’s a popular style for people experiencing life struggles, healing from physical injuries or illnesses, or recovering from addiction.

Yoga and Meditation for Addiction Recovery

For many people in recovery, cultivating, and maintaining a healthy relationship with their physical selves is as important as healing their spiritual self. Yoga’s blend of physical, spiritual, and mental disciplines facilitates that healing. Significant research notes that yoga and meditation can help people manage co-occurring disorders that include substance abuse and mental health disorders when used in conjunction with traditional treatments.

If you are looking for tips on how to start your journey into yoga check this guide:

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About the Author

Ms. Bridges is the creator of, which aims to provide health and wellness resources for aging seniors.

LTC News Contributor Hazel Bridges

Hazel Bridges

Contributor since March 7th, 2018

Editor's Note

There is a downside when taking better care of your health. That downside is age itself. Once you get into your fragile 50s and beyond, you will see changes with your body and overall health no matter what you do to take good care of yourself.  

The problem is longevity itself. People require long-term care services and support due to an illness, accident, and just the impact of getting older.

As we age, we are at higher risk for cognitive decline. Plus, you could be healthy on paper and still need help and assistance. You might be a healthy 90-year-old, but your frailty may require you to need help with normal activities of daily living. 

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It is always best to start planning before retirement when you enjoy better health and might qualify for preferred health rates. Keep in mind that premiums are based in part by your age, health, family history, and the amount of benefits you wish to have in place. 

Take a few minutes to contemplate your future successful retirement with the peace-of-mind you'll enjoy knowing you have the income and asset protection that comes from Long-Term Care Insurance. 

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