When you think of yoga, do you imagine young twenty-somethings twisting themselves into pretzel shapes? Maybe you believe that yoga isn’t beneficial for senior citizens because it’s too difficult to do. Fortunately, people of all ages, sizes and abilities can practice it. If you’re a senior citizen, read on for more information on how you can incorporate yoga into your life.
Medical News Today reports that “yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Used as a form of physical exercise, it incorporates breathing techniques, meditation and physical poses.” Practicing yoga improves the health of both your mind and body. Doctors recommend yoga to their patients over 50 because it improves balance, relieves pain and decreases blood pressure. Yoga helps to boost your mood, alleviate stress and increase your level of happiness. It can help with insomnia, pain and anxiety too. Attend yoga at least three days a week to receive the most benefits.
Before starting yoga, get permission from your doctor. This is really important if you live a sedentary lifestyle or have a chronic health condition. For example, seniors who have glaucoma need to avoid inversion positions. Those with spinal disc issues shouldn’t twist their bodies. People with arthritis, joint replacement, high blood pressure or problems with balance should also talk with their doctor before beginning yoga.
Meditation is an important part of yoga, and both of these assist seniors who are in addiction recovery. For many people in recovery, having a good relationship with the physical self is just as important as having a connection to the spiritual self. When yoga is done correctly, it exercises the body, fosters serenity and provides you with spiritual balance.
Consider the type of yoga you want to pursue. Some forms of yoga are just too strenuous for the average senior citizen. Other forms of yoga may require too much flexibility, causing a senior to suffer an injury because of forcing herself into a difficult yoga position. To avoid biting off more than you can chew, choose a yoga class designed for older beginners. Some seniors find success practicing chair yoga, a form of yoga that is performed while sitting in a chair or standing on the floor while holding a chair for support. Chair yoga is ideal for seniors with limited mobility and flexibility.
Caregivers should consider practicing yoga with their elderly loved ones to build or strengthen their relationship. Consult a certified yoga instructor before practicing yoga with your loved one. You will probably have different ability levels, and the senior citizen won’t be able to achieve the yoga positions you are able to do. Consider setting up a relaxing spot in your home to practice meditation and yoga.
What Should You Wear
As with any exercise, wear workout clothing featuring fabric that breathes and wicks away moisture. People who practice yoga should wear stretchy, fitted material. This allows you to comfortably do the yoga positions without worrying about restrictive clothing. Avoid cotton fabric, since cotton absorbs sweat. Stay away from workout clothes made from plastic or rubber materials. These types of materials prevent sweat from quickly evaporating.
If you are seeking a kind of exercise that boosts your mood, alleviates anxiety and improves your overall health, consider taking a yoga class. Not just for twenty-somethings, yoga is for every age, shape, size and ability. It doesn’t matter if you can’t twist your body into a pretzel; there are beginner classes and modifications that help you participate in this effective form of exercise. Seniors and their caregivers can even find local yoga classes geared toward older people. Once seniors begin practicing yoga, they just might find themselves enjoying better health and a better outlook on life.