Old age is not a reason to give up your exercise routine. For seniors with more limited mobility, light exercises such as yoga are very good for body health. In addition, this exercise can be practiced at home without the need for special equipment. What are the benefits of seniors doing yoga exercises? So, how to prepare for yoga and how to choose safe movements for seniors at home?
They say age is just a number. However, this may not be the case for the body. You can clearly feel its effects from the 60s. Aches, pains, and fatigue will greet you and, if not taken care of, will drag you down and dull you. So, before it’s too late and your body gives up before your soul, you should give yourself a chance to try some easy yoga asanas that work wonders for seniors.
Yoga can actually be beneficial for individuals of all ages. On the other hand, it is very beneficial both mentally and physically, especially for the elderly. Studies have shown that yoga can be extremely beneficial when it comes to combating stress, fatigue, and pain. Some yoga poses may also have specific benefits. For example, it can increase core strength and balance, reduce the risk of fall-related injury, or alleviate health problems such as menopause. Above all, yoga is a form of exercise that can help seniors feel younger.
Have you noticed that your grandparents are slowly spending their days and spending time on chores? Well, this is a look at what they’ve been through. With age, bones and joints weaken and balance is impaired. Mentally it also affects them, a mild depression settles in when they witness their bodies aging.
At this point, practicing yoga will make them feel active and young. It will cheer them up and help them get on their feet and spend their days with minimal assistance. Since the effect of yoga is low and long-lasting, it does not stress them. According to studies, it has given positive results by encouraging many people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s to start a yoga practice.
Even by practicing the asanas once a day, they can witness many improvements in their body. Yoga slows down the aging process by softening the muscles and maintaining flexibility. Therefore, if you want to be active and healthy even when you are in your 60s, you should start practicing yoga at least two to three times a week today.
Benefits of Yoga For Seniors
Spending most of the time sitting or lying down is not good for the health of seniors. Although their body functions are not as healthy as before, they have to be active. The trick is to keep doing regular exercise like yoga. The yoga practice consists of a variety of movements, some of which are safe and beneficial for them. According to a study in the British Medical Journal, yoga can improve a person’s well-being in several ways and we can include seniors in this group as well.
Many seniors suffer from chronic pain in the joints and muscles, and yoga is also known to help in reducing these pains. In one study, after just four weeks of yoga practice, study participants reported needing less pain medication. Seniors may find that participating in physical activity reduces pain and reap the psychological benefits of the social interaction of yoga class.
If you suffer from insomnia, yoga can help you sleep better. According to a study comparing an herbal sleeping pill with yoga, it is found that yoga improved sleep time and reduced the time it took to fall asleep. The physical demands of yoga, along with breathing and relaxation techniques, maybe the reason for improved sleep quality. Better sleep translates to a better quality of life – which means seniors who practice yoga feel better throughout the day.
Depression and anxiety disorders are mental disorders that are frequently observed in seniors. They may be stressed due to loneliness or worried about their chronic illness. Without treatment, stress and anxiety will worsen and eventually lead to mental disorders. In order to prevent mental illness or relieve symptoms, seniors can practice yoga as part of supportive care and as a safe form of exercise for seniors. This is because yoga can relieve stress and anxiety by improving their mood.
Seniors often feel lonely as their mobility begins to decline. They are no longer as active and strong as they used to be, so they prefer to stay at home most of the time. Seniors need to improve their muscle and bone strength with yoga so that mobility does not deteriorate. Some yoga exercises help them to improve their mobility and flexibility, to improve their body balance so that they do not fall easily.
Yoga practice may help reduce the risk of chronic disease in seniors. This is because this physical activity can increase heart rate, help control body weight to stay ideal, and keep blood pressure stable. With Sports Heart Rate Calculator, they can easily calculate their heart rate during exercise. Additionally, yoga asanas can also help relieve back pain or menopausal symptoms. You may conclude that practicing yoga as physical activity can increase the effectiveness of the treatment that seniors can experience.
It is a fact that yoga lowers high blood pressure. This is a serious health problem for seniors. Yoga includes calming techniques and physical activity, both of which help lower blood pressure. Indeed, participants in a medical study in India were observed to have lower blood pressure during three months of yoga practice. According to another study, it was observed that yoga breathing techniques lower blood pressure more than a relaxing activity such as listening to relaxing music.
Preparation Before Practicing Yoga For Seniors
As you can imagine, the health conditions of seniors are definitely different from the health conditions of the young. There are a number of preparations that need to be made before seniors begin their exercise routine. This aims to reduce the risk of injury or other health problems associated with limited body movement.
- The health problems experienced by seniors should be taken into consideration. Older people often have problems with bones, high blood pressure (hypertension), glaucoma, or arthritis. In order to create the right basic position, start yoga with light movements, especially for seniors.
- Anyone can practice yoga, but it is better and recommended for seniors to work with an experienced yoga instructor. Yoga instructors can help them to practice yoga types according to their health status.
- It is important to know the capabilities of your body and not to overdo it in asanas. These asanas that increase the risk of sprains and even injury should be avoided.
Yoga for Seniors – Top 7 Asanas
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
- Balasana (Child Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This pose is actually the first step of yoga practice and all asanas. We can even say that all other yoga poses are different versions of it. It is possible to practice this pose whenever you want without any restrictions. All you need to be careful about is that you should not do it when there is nothing in your stomach. However, if you are going to move on to other asanas, it will be more beneficial to practice in the morning on an empty stomach. In tadasana, you should stay for about 10 to 30 seconds, but of course, it is possible to reduce the practicing time accordingly.
This asana works perfectly by improving the posture of the elderly, especially for seniors who have problems with a hunchback. It makes maneuvering and moving easier by strengthening weak thighs and ankles. It also relieves pain due to aging. It improves digestion, increases blood circulation, and also helps seniors to soften their eating problems and have fewer problems.
Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
This pose got its name because it resembles a butterfly while flapping its wings. You should practice in the morning before eating anything and if you think you have a clean bowel. You should stay that way for as long as is most convenient for you, from one to five minutes.
This asana stimulates the bladder and kidneys and in this way, it helps seniors to avoid digestion problems. Toilet habits become more regular. It will make seniors active and make them free from mild depression, fatigue, and anxiety. This pose also softens the menopause process of senior women.
Balasana (Child Pose)
It got this name because it resembles a baby’s position in the womb of the mother. It is said that in the later years of life the elders become childish, making it appropriate for the elders to try this asana. It is recommended to practice after a very short period you wake up with an empty stomach or in the evening/night before you go to bed and after a few hours break after eating. It is a beginner-level Vinyasa yoga asana. It is recommended to stay in this asana for one to three minutes or as long as possible.
This asana helps seniors to release the tension that is already built up in their fragile bodies. It is especially effective for pain in the back, chest, and shoulders. It drives the dizziness away and keeps them awake. It makes it easier for the body functions to continue to work in a healthy way by making organs more flexible. It helps with deep and regular breathing, which calms seniors and helps them live a carefree life.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
It got its name because it is an activating backbend that resembles the cobra while raising its head. It can be said that it is one of the most relaxing asanas for old people. It will be especially good for frail old people physically and make them faster. It should be practiced daily in the morning on an empty stomach and with a clean bowel, or in the evening after a few hours of your last meal. This asana is a beginner Ashtanga yoga asana. It is helpful to stay in this pose for a few seconds or it is more beneficial if you can stay in it as long as you feel comfortable.
Bhujangasana is a pose with many unknown benefits. Loosens the stiff back of seniors. It stretches the shoulder, chest, and abdominal muscles to keep them comfortable, energetic, and healthy. It elevates moods. For example, it cheers up seniors to do something enjoyable. Most of the time, we can say that it increases body flexibility and thus improves mobility. With this pose, the most important thing is that it does not allow hunching by strengthening the spine.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
It got its name because it is a pose that resembles a dog’s pose when leaning forward. It is an easier asana to practice for seniors to try than other poses. You can get the best results by practicing in the morning. It is a beginner-level Ashtanga yoga asana. It is recommended to stay in the pose as long as your body allows and you feel comfortable with it.
It is an asana with many different missions. It boosts self-confidence and is a chance for seniors who are not active enough anymore and whose bodies are weakened by aging. It reminds them of everything they need to reach the situation they are in. This makes them proud of and happy with their own success and longevity. In addition, by increasing blood flow to the brain, the inverted pose brightens your cognition, sharpens the mind, and becomes more prone to remember everything.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
It gets this name because your body looks like a triangle while practicing this asana. It is pretty simple to practice. While there are not many poses where you need to keep your eyes open during yoga practice, trikonasana is one of the rare poses where you need to keep your eyes open. It is recommended to practice in the morning before eating something and with a clean bowel. It is a beginner-level Vinyasa yoga asana as well. It is recommended to stay in the pose for 30 seconds or more. More than that, it is recommended to stay in the pose as long as your body allows.
Blood pressure is one of the general problems experienced by seniors and this pose plays an active role in lowering blood pressure. It reduces fat in the waist and thighs. In this way, it helps to keep seniors fit. It is a pose that provides stability and balance. It helps seniors to do their tasks more comfortably and easily while strengthening their arms and legs. In this way, their life quality increases.
Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
It is a relaxing asana that is mostly practiced after practicing all the asanas you need to practice during a yoga session. The body does not move as a corpse does with zero movements. Although it looks very easy, it is actually quite a challenging pose. Because you need to completely calm your mind and relax your body by standing still while practicing this asana. It is a beginner-level Ashtanga yoga asana. You can stay in this pose as long as you want, but you need to make sure that you are not going to sleep.
Sleepiness is a common problem in seniors. Seniors, who are not physically active enough in their daily lives, are not tired enough for an efficient sleep at night. This pose also helps at this point. After a practiced yoga session, Shavasana is a solution that is good for the body of the elderly. It increases concentration. It helps to improve their life quality. It has a healing effect on health problems such as diabetes, poor mental health, and many more.
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