How yoga can help fight ageing aches

Yoga has never been so fashionable, its benefits as a stress-buster and body toner advocated by celebrities from Madonna to Ricky Martin. And while it suits all ages – pre-schoolers are stretching and twisting on the mat, thanks in part to the BBC children’s series Waybuloo – it is especially good for older people.
In fact, Fenella Lindsell, a consultant on the CBeebies show and co-founder of the children’s yoga company Yoga Bugs (www.yogabugs.com), says her classes for the elderly are the highlight of her week.
Eight years ago, Lindsell, 48, began subsidised yoga sessions for older adults to increase their mobility and help reduce the aches and pains of ageing, following a request from her local GP’s surgery in Balham Park, south London.
At first, the classes attracted a slow stream of men and women. But now the three weekly sessions of gentle “Hatha flow” yoga – focusing on breath work, postures and relaxation – are packed.
The physical and emotional benefits appear remarkable. Judy Campbell, 70, has Sjogren Syndrome (an auto-immune disorder affecting her joints) and inflammatory lung disease. She believes that the yoga she has learnt in Lindsell’s class for the past eight years has strengthened her muscles and improved joint mobility, while the breathing techniques have increased her lung capacity and helped with tiredness and pain toleration. The classes calm her, too; they are “the most positive part of my week”, she says.

Source  - Telegraph