Yoga can improve older people’s balance and mobility, a study of Australian participants aged between 59 and 87 has shown.
The study’s 54 participants follow a 12-week program of Iyengar yoga: a branch of the popular Hatha yoga which focuses on balance, precision and alignment. Participants were also encouraged to practise their poses for 10 to 20 minutes two days a week at home.
The results showed that the yoga group significantly improved on standing balance, a sit-to-stand test, four-metre walk, and one-legged stand with eyes closed.
Older people who perform well on these balance and mobility tests are about half as likely to fall as people with poor performance.