Yoga is a health and relaxation practice that has flourished for thousand of years in the East and part of the Zen Buddhism discipline, which found it ways into the West during the 60s and has been gaining popularity ever since. According to a recent review of relaxation exercises published in Times, Yoga is particularly useful for senior adults – those over 60 years of age.
The review found that those who did yoga and other calming activities saw greater reductions in their anxiety and depression than people who did not take up this activity. Depression and anxiety is one of the leading causes of heart disease, which seniors are particularly susceptible to.
Up to 40% of older adults report anxiety and anywhere from 15-20% of the elderly experience depression, according to the author of the study. The researchers scrutinized 15 studies—12 of them randomized controlled trials—from the past two decades that looked at different methods of relaxation. They gauged the effectiveness of six techniques: yoga, listening to music, tensing and relaxing different groups of muscles, massage therapy and stress management training.
According to the report:
“The most effective ways to alleviate depression were yoga, the music intervention and the muscle tensing and relaxing exercise—called PMRT, for progressive muscle relaxation training. The music and yoga interventions were the best for anxiety.”
Their studies were published in the journal of Aging and Mental Health and reported in Times.