Yoga is for Everyone
Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation-relaxation. The art of practicing Yoga was first mentioned in ancient India around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, and it is not surprising why thousands of years later we continue the yoga practice. Yoga postures (asanas), breathing exercises and meditation provide tangible positive changes for a healthier body and peaceful mind.
Yoga, can offer a wide array of health benefits for all ages, but especially for seniors who may be feeling the aches and pains of osteoarthritis, diabetic nerve damage, and mental health changes such as depression.
All ages will feel better and see physical improvement in strength, muscle tone, stamina and flexibility when beginning a simple yoga routine tailored to their ability. Yoga works muscles in two ways: The muscles doing the work get stronger by moving through a range of motion while supporting the weight of the body. Other poses strengthen muscles by engaging them for balance and support.
While many people may start a yoga practice with a focus on improving their physical health, over time they will also realize their mental status has improved with self-reflection, self-compassion and inner calm. This sense of well being lasts beyond the yoga class and into everyday life.
TOP BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR SENIORS
- Reduced risk of injury - The low intensity nature of yoga provides the benefits of range of motion with a reduced risk of strain/injury.
- Flexibility - One of yoga's primary benefits for anyone, including seniors, is flexibility. Flexibility helps prevent issues such as poor ambulation, balance, etc.
- Bone Health - Having good bone health can help lessen or prevent injury if you fall. Yoga's gentle stretching and twisting poses can help with osteoporosis and bone pain.
- Mindfulness - Primary Caregivers for loved ones and those going through medical issues can experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness can help relieve stress by keeping you centered and energized. It can also help regulate mood and lessen memory loss.
Best Yoga Practices for Seniors
Remember, physical postures or asanas done alone are not a Yoga practice. When you go to what is commonly called ‘a yoga class’, you are likely attending an asana class which is very physical in nature. There is much more to yoga than learning to put your body in Poses with sanskrit names. There are mental and spiritual elements as well. The following yoga practices are a great place to start for those new to yoga and for seniors who may need to go slowly and not just take an “exercise’ class.
A restorative yoga sequence involves few poses, up to five or six, supported by props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks. Restorative yoga holds poses for five minutes or more, with relaxation in mind with light twists, seated forward folds, and if you are able, gentle backbends.
Check out Chair Yoga online with Instructor Adriene Mishler, who is recognized by Google as the most searched workout of 2015 and was named one of the most 100 Influential people in Fitness and Wellness in 2017 and 2018.
According to Adriene’s website, Chair Yoga invites you to find mobility in a way that is soft and gentle but also really supportive and beneficial. Her Yoga with Adriene video offers a 17 minute chair practice which invites awareness and integrity into the body, specifically the line of the spine. This practice also activates the muscles that help you find length up through the spine for better posture and energy flow.
Give STEPS Home Care a call @ (855) 548-1797 to discuss senior yoga classes available in Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, or Westchester and Nassau Counties, NY. One of our Care Coordinators can help find a partner that can help you.
Headquartered in White Plains, NY with offices in Stamford, CT, Garden City, NY and New York, NY, STEPS Home Care is a family, female, and locally owned company serving New York and Connecticut. Like our clients, we've experienced the stress and challenges of caring for aging loved ones. Our family is here to help yours, sharing experience and guidance to provide you with peace of mind.