There are many benefits of yoga including strengthening and activation of muscle which is known to reduce the risk of fall, increase blood flow, improve sleep, and provide more range of motion through joints. Furthermore, yoga offers a balance of energy and deep breathing techniques which help to steady the nervous system, thus reducing the responsive behavior associated with old age.
Yoga is 3000 years old art form and it originated in India, though it has managed to influence many cultures. Yoga has always been the practice that is for everyone, and if you get into the history of yoga you will learn that it is all about celebrating the body and embracing your mind. Yoga can be seen as meditation, it can be seen as a philosophy of life or a sound way to learn how your body works.
There is this misconception that yoga is meant for someone who is young and already flexible but it is most certainly not the case. You come to yoga to release the tension in the body. There is a yoga workout for everyone doesn’t matter if you are young or old. Doesn't matter if you are suffering from some sort of pain or body injury.
We are jotting down some major yoga tips for all our seniors out there to make this healthy journey easy for you.
EASE YOUR WAY INTO THE PRACTICE
Yoga instructor Cat Kabira shares her experience of teaching yoga to men and women in their sixties. According to Cat, many elderly ladies had a hard time twisting and moving their bodies into various postures. Cat instructed them to do the best they can and mainly focus on their breathing, do not push their body limits, just stay within whatever feels right to you and your body and this is the best one can do. After a month many women were able to move their bodies side to side.
The key is to do the right by your body without straining it, yoga is the only workout routine that is gentle and really listens to what your body needs. Ease your way into the practice, here are some very important tips for all the elderly who are thinking about getting into yoga but are not quite sure how to get started
• Be patient with your body.
• Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Most elderly have a hard time asking anyone to give a hand to help out. But having the support of family and loved ones will only strengthen your resolve.
• If possible get a teacher. Having someone to guide you through the journey is important. A teacher can be reassuring support for you.
• Understand your body. Feel how stiff and tight your body muscles are, and accept. Be honest with yourself.
• Really think about your whole lifestyle. Few changes such as healthy intake can play an important role in your aim for better health.
Once you start practicing yoga, you will notice that muscles that haven’t been used for a while will get flexible and strong, no matter the age.
These yoga postures are designed for seniors and can be used by everyone as they are very gentle and do not require much experience. Consistent practice of yoga may help to reduce overall body pain that many elderly suffer from.
Chair Yoga: It is a simple chair yoga pose, and all the movements are done slowly, stop when you need to. Start by planting your feet flat on the floor and put your hands on your thighs. You start by turning into your breath. Close the eyes for the moment and you go on by lengthening, your inhales and exhales. You should feel the air fill up your belly, your chest, your shoulders, and all the way to your head. You will start to feel oxygen coming to the tips of your fingers and the tips of your toes.
Mountain Pose: While performing the mountain pose, your hands should spread wide to the side. Your feet are firmly planted and you take in deep breaths, filling up air through the chest.
Cat-cow Breathing: You start by placing your hands on your thighs, push the chest forward inhale and you exhale round into the back. Arching your back like an angry cat. Inhale chest forward looking up at the sky and exhale.
Side Stretch: Placing your hands on your hips, inhale, and while exhaling softly turn to the side lengthening out the side of your body. Inhale at the center and exhale as you twist to the opposite side.
Head Movements: So you start the head movement, by looking down and inhale, move the center and exhale, move back and inhale again. Repeat the process five times.
These postures are an opportunity for you to follow the practice in a way that delights you. Simple sequences a few times a week can bring a great change to your health.
It doesn’t matter if you start out yoga with certain limitations or disabilities. This is exactly when you practice yoga, this is when you commit yourself to a daily small practice. The primary practice of yoga is learning to listen to yourself in a very kind way and just seeing what your body requires. As you listen, as you breathe, as you respond, you will find the great openings in both physical and spiritual paths.
CHANGES YOU WILL NOTICE ONCE AFTER PRACTICING YOGA FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD
• Yoga will build your character.
• It will make you feel good.
• It will give you a way to feel like a lighter being
• It will give you a positive attitude towards life.