Background: With the current challenge of rapidly aging populations, practices such as yoga may help older adults stay physically active, healthy, and fulfilled. Methods: The impact of an 8-week Iyengar yoga program on the holistic health and well-being of physically inactive people aged 55 years and over was assessed. Thirty-eight older adults (mean age 73.21 ± 8.38 years; 19 intervention, 19 control) engaged in either twice-weekly yoga classes or continued their usual daily routines. Physical health measures were muscle strength, active range of motion, respiratory function (FEV1), resting blood pressure, and immune function (salivary IgA and lysozyme). Self-perceived general,physical, mental, spiritual, and social health and well-being were assessed with the Life's Odyssey Questionnaire and the SF12v2™ Health Survey. Results: Muscle strength, active range of motion, physical well-being, and aspects of mental well-being (emotional well-being and self-care) improved significantly in the yoga group (p < .05). Median changes in most of these variables were also significantly different from those in the control group. Conclusions:Participation in Iyengar yoga programs by older people is beneficial for health and well-being, and greater availability of such programs could improve quality of life.

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