The word “SENIORS” is not only daunting for our parents but also terrifying for their children as well. Why do you ask? Why won’t it? I mean this is the age, you need to take the redundant amount of care. Parents enter their retirement period and the first worry that comes to a child’s mind is about their health. Since at this stage of life your body starts to get weak and are prone to several kinds of disease. It is common to go through health-related issues but the worst part is even at this chapter of our life mental pressure doesn’t leave our back. You might think retirement means freedom from all the responsibilities, that’s not the truth. Out of the many, few take full advantage of this opportunity and enjoy it to the fullest while the rest perseveres a depressed life.
Aging is a natural progression. It is not possible to refrain from this process but can make an effort to work on it. No matter your age, it is always essential to keep your body healthy and mind relaxed. How can we do that? The answer to this question is YOGA. Yes! You heard it right. All the oldies out there give yoga a chance and see for yourself what changes it brings to your lifestyle. To prove my point here is a list of the benefits yoga can provide you with-
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
“Yoga adds years to your life and life to your years”
- Helps to strengthened bones– When aging takes place the creation of new bones can’t keep up with the decrease of bone mass and density and that’s when osteoporosis occurs. In this case, the practice of yoga comes into use as it helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis and keeps the bones strong.
- Helps to reduce tension- Yoga helps to lower blood pressure, heart rate, reduce anxiety and also healthily maintain your breathing system. The tension you’re holding in the body especially in your upper back and shoulders can also be reduced with yoga. If you suffer from hypertension and take medication daily, you can avoid it with the help of yoga.
- Helps to improve sleep quality- Sleeping disorder is a very common issue for older adults. Yoga helps the seniors to sleep better and for a longer period since it makes them feel so relaxed.
- Helps to enhance strength, balance, mobility, and flexibility- Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of injury. Yoga helps to prevent falls as yoga poses involve slow, measured movements and can lead to better balance. Yoga is beneficial to help you move around safely and increase your mobility.
- Helps to reduce the chances of depression- The combination of meditation, movement, and breathing can create an overall sense of well- being and therefore Yoga is an excellent practice for boosting your mood. It helps to keep your soul positive. If you are feeling positive the chances of depression decreases.
- Helps to decrease pain and aches- Aging is always connected to pains and aches, Yoga can help ease these pains even if you have some physical limitations. If you suffer from any kind of chronic pain Yoga helps to deal with it as it teaches you the right way to relax and breathe through the situation.
You might think you “too old” to do any kind of exercise or practice yoga. But that’s not the case. First of all, change your attitude towards age. It is said, “If your healthy, age is just a number”. To make the most of life, you need to feel young within. Birthdays are an occasion to celebrate and not to cry just because you are getting a year older. If you keep worrying this way, you will never be happy. I got a little off-topic here; Let’s get back to the point. Like I said before don’t let age ruin anything for you. YOGA is especially recommended to everyone right for the starting, and even if you are new to it NO WORRIES. The major thing to remember if your practicing yoga for the first time, go for the most basic poses and always take it slow.
Yoga Poses for Seniors
Now, it is easy for a senior citizen to practice these poses at home only with the help of a simple method.
- Trikonasana (Triangle pose)
A common issue faced by the elderly is blood pressure, the triangle pose helps to reduce it. It keeps the thighs and waist fit and light as it decreases the fat in those areas. It helps the elderly to do their chores more efficiently as it stretches and strengthens the legs and arms. This pose helps to prevent any kind of unevenness in the body and maintains balance and stability.
- Child pose
An old body is fragile and built a lot of tension around it. It occurs in particular areas such as the shoulders, back, and chest. This pose helps to release this kind of tension. It helps to drive away dizziness and keeps us alert. It facilitates healthy body functions and makes the internal organs more flexible. It helps older people to calm and live an anxiety-free life as it aids in building steady and deep breathing.
- Badhakonasana (Butterfly pose)
It helps the oldies to keep excretion issues at bay as this pose helps to stimulate the kidneys and bladder. With the help of this pose the process of relieving gets regular and smooth. It aids to reduce your tiredness and keep him or her active. This pose keeps you anxiety-free as it helps to bring you out of mild depression. It is beneficial for old women as the process of menopause is smooth with the help of this pose.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
This pose helps to keep the muscles healthy and flexible in the area of the abdominal, shoulder, and chest. The elderly usually end up with a rigid lower back, this pose helps to loosen it up. This pose encourages you to do something fun, boosts up your mood, and provides you with a positive feeling. It helps to improve mobility as it increases body flexibility. The most important factor is it helps to strengthen the spine.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This pose helps to improve posture as it perfectly works for hunching the elderly. It makes the movement easier for the old people as it strengthens their weak ankles and thighs. Due to old age, it is easy to develop pain and aches. This pose helps to reduce it. The old people usually suffer from acidity, this pose assists in smoothening this as well and helps to improve digestion and increase blood circulation.
So, all the lovely children, if you’re worried about your parents or grandparent’s well-being do them a favor and introduce them to Yoga and how can it be helpful at this stage of life. Most importantly, Yoga helps to keeps the elderly away from injury, and is easily adaptable to their needs, and considered one of the ideal forms of exercise for seniors. As a matter of fact, not just for the seniors but for everyone. A small piece of advice from my side, no matter what the age, a SMILE on your face takes away all your problems. Yoga is just a bonus factor to bring that smile. So, laugh away all your tensions and live life to your fullest.
- Is Yoga safe for the elders?
Yoga is the best form of exercise, especially for the elders. This practice not only helps to keep your body fit and healthy but also with the guidance of meditation keeps your mind at peace as well.
2. How can yoga be beneficial for people over 60?
Yoga includes end number of simple yoga poses which people over 60 can try. These yoga poses are proven to be great for their bone health, increase their willpower, and also the best tool for stress relief.
3. What is Chair Yoga?
Chair Yoga is a form of Yoga that is especially for seniors. Seniors can practice Yoga while sitting on a chair and get their wonderful benefits. This is just a simple form of exercise for people who find difficulty in exercising.
4. What precautions should seniors take while practicing yoga?
If you are a beginner at yoga. Always start it slow. See if the yoga poses are comfortable for you. It never happens but by any chance, if you go through any kind of discomfort or pain do not move forward with it. Try some other pose that suits your body.
5. Should seniors practice yoga every day?
Ideally, seniors should practice yoga for at least three days a week. If your body allows you can go practice yoga every day as well. There is no harm in it.