A Senior Guide to Yoga and Wellness
A Senior Guide to Yoga and Wellness
It might come as no surprise that yoga can help seniors maintain flexibility and stay physically active. However, images of limber people in contorted poses can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the true nature of yoga, a soothing, meditative discipline. The best option for an older adult is to ease into it until you’re comfortable. But first, it’s important to learn about yoga and find a class and instructor that’s suitable for seniors. Today, Live Your Best Life presents some ideas to help get you started.
Find a Studio
Yoga Journal notes that doctors are recommending yoga to their older patients in increasing numbers because of its ability to lower blood pressure and alleviate joint and muscle pain. Caregivers can be on hand to help their loved one get the most out of the experience and to serve as an encouraging companion.
You can start with online videos, but depending on your loved one’s needs, you may do better taking a beginner class. You can take advantage of a group setting, or you can book private sessions for more personal instruction. Before taking a class, request instructors who have experience working with or who have been trained to conduct classes for older people.
Make sure you and your caregiver are able to commit to practicing yoga. If you’ll be participating at home, you’ll need to set aside space so you can execute the routines safely and comfortably, and have fun together doing it. If space is at a premium, consider getting rid of excess furniture or moving it to a storage facility, a good solution if clutter is a problem.
Understand the Basics
There’s a lot of information on the internet about yoga and its many physical and psychological benefits as part of an overall healthier way of living. If you’re unfamiliar with what yoga is all about, you’ll soon find it’s a holistic system of personal and spiritual growth that definitely isn’t just for people who have full flexibility. One of the aims of yoga is to help you achieve flexibility as well as relief from pain, stress, and anxiety. Yoga should never cause pain — its objective is the exact opposite, so never attempt any movement that causes any level of discomfort.
In addition to helping tone your body and clear your mind, yoga has a number of other restorative and preventative benefits, such as keeping the health of your gut in check (things can get uncomfortable when your gut flora becomes unbalanced), reduced stress (sometimes this can be corrected by simplify cleaning and decluttering your home, as well as clearing the space of negative energy), better breathing, getting better sleep, and stronger mental health, which help alleviate feelings of isolation that result in depression, oral health problems, and cognitive decline.
Talk to Your Doctor
Make sure you get off to a safe start in yoga by talking to your doctor about possible complications based on your medical status, particularly if you suffer from heart disease or some other serious condition. Your doctor should be able to advise you about any movements that should be avoided. Mayo Clinic points out that older individuals with osteoporosis, in particular, must be careful about attempting movements that could cause an injury, such as bending forward from the waist and moving the spine too strenuously. Never begin a yoga regimen unless you’ve discussed it with a physician who’s familiar with your situation.
Older adults and their caregivers need some physical outlet, a form of exercise that helps them stay active and mentally alert. Yoga is a good way to accomplish that because the patient and caregiver can provide mutual encouragement as they advance in their knowledge of yoga and benefit from its physical and mental benefits.
The mission of Live Your Best Life is to encourage others to live a healthy, happy, and balanced life-style. Feel free to reach out today with any questions or comments!
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