Fitness centers all over the United States are catering more and more to those aged 50 and over. Although yoga has been around as an Eastern Indian form of exercise, it’s increasingly gained in popularity in the older-age demographic.
Now, there’s a new twist on this old exercise form that many find particularly appealing. It’s called “physio yoga” (PYT), or “fizzy” yoga, as it’s colloquially called. And as its name would suggest, it combines physical therapy with yoga moves. The New York Times recently reported on actress Kim Cattrall’s (age 57, Sex and the City) practice of physio-yoga as “saving my life”. If she pulls a muscle, her instructor can adjust it right there and then.
Physio-yoga focuses on more intense stretching than cardio moves. It incorporates both meditative breathing and physical therapy “adjustments” as the yoga poses are done. The moves are designed to both prevent, and heal, injuries. A physio-yoga instructor evaluates each newcomer for muscle strengths and weaknesses, focuses on stretching muscles that are particularly tight, and strengthening the core muscles (those of the abdomen and back).
When practiced regularly, the many health benefits of physio yoga that make it particularly attractive include improved muscle strength, posture, endurance, flexibility, circulation, digestion, hormonal rebalancing, breathing, immune system function, bone density strengthening, lowered blood pressure and normalizing of body weight.
Physio yoga instructors and practitioners alike also attest to the many mental health benefits of “fizzy” yoga like improved concentration, reduction of stress and anxiety, improved sleep and memory, and ability to relax. The key is overall well-being – something that straight cardio only does partially. Yet, physio yoga can burns as much, or more, calories as 30 minute cardio sessions.