214611 Yoga for Seniors: A qualitative exploration

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brandon Eggleston, PhD , Health Services Program, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN
Katie Ehlman, PhD CHES , Gerontology, University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN
Physical activity is an important component of health for all individuals including older adults. However, older adults often times must take specific precautions when engaging in physical activities because of the greater probability of having a compromising chronic condition or illness. A recent qualitative study interviewed clinical health professionals who treat senior citizens and also yoga therapists/instructors who use yoga postures and techniques to improve health and wellness of older adults. Results identified that there was a misperception of yoga practices among some clinical health professionals. The first misperception was that older adults should not practice yoga because they are too old. The second misperception was that only older adults who do not have chronic health conditions can practice yoga. The third misperception was that yoga cannot be practiced by seniors who have mobility and walking issues. Overall, there seems to be a knowledge gap among many clinical health professionals who treat older adults about the benefits of yoga practice. Yoga therapists were very knowledgeable about which poses and what modifications of postures must be carried out for older adults with common chronic conditions. Future study will examine the specific benefits of yoga for older adults and also in developing health education opportunities for clinical professionals working with older adults regarding the benefits of yoga for senior citizens.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be understand the benefits of yoga for older adults. Participants will be able to describe the contraindications of specific yoga postures for seniors with specific chronic conditions. Participants will understand common misperceptions surrounding yoga and older adults.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-investigator on this project, an assistant professor of health services, certified health education specialist, and registered yoga teacher.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.