Many people (including ourselves) have long believed that yoga would make an excellent intervention to improve the balance and mobility of older people and we finally have some evidence to show this is true. A 12 week pilot study led by Dr Anne Tiedemann from The George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney that included specially chosen exercises based on Iyengar yoga showed "significant improvement on a range of measures including standing balance, a sit-to-stand test, a four metre walk, and a one-legged stand with eyes closed". Usually, people who perform well on these tests have a significantly lower risk of falls and a larger trial of around 500 people is required to confirm these findings.
One of the most interesting aspects of this study is how quickly improvements were made, and although there was some initial resistance, particularly from men, the results were excellent including the story of one woman who "needed a chair to help her to get onto the floor at the start of the program but she didn’t need it at the end. She told me it had changed her life!"
Read the full story and find out more here.