Yoga is usually used as a way to cope with the aging process and health-related issues. People below the senior age bracket perform the complex body maneuvers for purposes such as weight loss and lean body maintenance. Nonetheless, there are positions specifically modified to fit the aging body of seniors. If you are a senior living alone, you can help yourself cope with the difficulties of senior life by performing yoga. Let’s explore some of the benefits that yoga provides.
Medical Benefits of Yoga
While you can still stand up on your own to do exercise and other physical activities, you might as well do yoga. The practice helps decrease the risks of physical and psychological diseases including:
- Heart attack
The diseases mentioned above can aggravate the hardship of senior life. Even if you are living alone, you can have a sense of peace and well being by practicing yoga at home alone or with a companion. According to medical studies, the practice helps alleviate chronic back pain, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also reduce blood pressure, which leads to the prevention of heart-related diseases.
Improved Balance and Flexibility
One of the most challenging concerns for seniors is the risk of imbalance and falls. Due to the aging process, the muscles, bones, and joints become weaker. Yogic positions and exercises help strengthen these systems to provide seniors with the ability to improve posture, balance and flexibility. As the muscles and the joints strengthen, the risks of accidents and falls gradually decrease.
The later years of life make it harder for people to achieve full sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and an overall feeling of tiredness throughout the rest of the day. If seniors do not get enough sleep, they tend to lose the energy to do physical activities. This increases the risks of muscle and bone deterioration.
Thankfully, muscle-strengthening and relaxation poses can help combat insomnia. Seniors can get the rest they need so they can maintain a strong body and a sharp mind. Remember that sleep also affects a person’s mental focus and emotional well-being. Nothing beats quality sleep when it comes to maintaining a sound body, mind, and emotion. In fact, it may also result in better spiritual well-being.
Emotional Benefits of Yoga
Senior citizens are prone to anxiety and depression, especially when their kids move away from home and have their own families. It is at this point in life that many old friends leave the physical world. The thought of losing friends and loved ones is a strong contributing factor to emotional imbalances, worry, fear, sadness and all other sorts of negative feelings. Having these emotions often lead to lack of motivation to stay active. A person can even lose the will to live.
The practice of Yoga can lead seniors to have a more positive outlook even in the condition they are in. Its ability to connect mind, emotion, body and spirit together helps seniors look at life at a more positive light and to accept that nothing in this world is infinite.
Forms Of Yoga Fit For Seniors
Hatha yoga has many forms fit for the older generation. These forms focus on stretching or flexibility, muscle strengthening, healing, and relaxation. However, experienced practitioners may perform Ashtanga and power yogic practice. If you are a beginner, you may only be allowed to practice Iyengar since it is gentler and easier to do. There are many resources online that can provide helpful information on yoga for seniors.