YOGA SUPPORTS HEALTHY AGING
DOING YOGA: ISSUE 3
by Bett Bollhoefer
"The mastery of one in Union extends from the finest atomic particle to the greatest infinity.."
~ YOGA SUTRAS: 1.40
Mountain Yoga teacher Baxter Bell’s book Yoga for Healthy Aging is devoted to a challenge we all share. In his book Baxter explains that to keep our bodies healthy as we age we need to do system maintenance regularly. One of the best ways to maintain health and avoid injury is a regular yoga practice. Yoga builds the health in three ways.
The first is maintaining bone density. Standing poses strengthen our bones. Standing in tree pose makes our muscles work hard which in turn makes the bone get denser to withstand the pressure of gravity resulting in fewer fractures as we age.
The second is flexibility. Left to our own devices, we lose 10% of our flexibility every 10 years, Yoga employs both dynamic and static stretching which maintains, and even increases range of motion in our muscles and joints. This not only makes it more comfortable to be in our bodies but also helps to reduce falls, as when joints become stiff it raises the probability of falls.
“Our members wrote to us almost daily during the pandemic to express how coming to yoga was saving their sanity! Contact with our community was pointed to repeatedly as a lifeline.”
The third is community. The National Institute on Aging writes that feeling isolated is very dangerous for the overall well-being of humans. Yoga class not only supplies exercise, but community. We saw this very clearly during the pandemic. Seeing the same faces regularly, being able to check in with each other day to day, feeling part of a whole, was a precious source of support moving through the pandemic. “Our members wrote to us almost daily during the pandemic to express how coming to yoga was saving their sanity! Contact with our community was pointed to repeatedly as a lifeline," confirms Mountain Yoga Director Ann Dyer Cervantes.
Bett Bolhoeffer is the newest addition to the staff of teachers at Mountain Yoga and coach of our 2023 Yoga Challenge and author of "Yoga for Life: Creating a Daily Practice." . After two decades working in the tech industry, Bett is now committed to a life as a full time yoga teacher. Bett practices yoga every day.