Perceptions of a community-based yoga intervention for older adults

Neela K. Patel, Sreedhara Akkihebbalu, Sara E. Espinoza, Laura K. Chiodo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Self-reported effects of yoga among older adults in an independent-living retirement community are presented. Weekly 60-minute beginner Iyengar yoga classes tailored to individual functional levels using props were conducted. Classes included stretching, flexibility, endurance, balance, and relaxation. Preand postintervention perceptions by focus-group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted at baseline, 12 weeks, and 1 year. Twelve older persons age 65-89 (majority Hispanic) voluntarily participated. A grounded theory approach was used to generate the biopsychosocial model of health from the qualitative data collected. Perceived benefits included improved gait and balance, decreased pain, decreased need for medications and decreased stress, improved sleep, less anxiety and depression, increased mobility, increased self-awareness, and a greater sense of peace. No adverse events were reported. Caregiving obligations, relocation, and perceived interference with religious beliefs hindered the subjects' ability to fully participate. Older adults' perceived yoga benefits extended to mental, psychosocial, and spiritual health. Caregiving obligations and religious belief conflicts deserve further exploration in future yoga interventions for recruitment and retention of participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalActivities, Adaptation and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Older adults
  • Perceptions
  • Yoga

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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