Yoga for seniors | Yoga Awareness
4 months ago
Old age is a blessing in many ways because of the unabridged experience of life is behind you!
When you come to old age, all the fancy aspirations are over, and you experience yourself as childlike again. But at a biological level, aging also results in the accumulation of cellular damage over time which leads to a progressive decrease in physical and mental capacity of the body. Familiar conditions in older age include back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, depression, heart disease, etc. so, if you are a senior and looking for some therapeutic practices to avoid these conditions, then you are at the right place! Yoga carries some low impact incredible poses that you can practice even in your nineties. In this article, I’m discussing yoga poses categorizing them on the basis of
- Standing yoga poses
- Laying yoga postures
- Sitting yoga postures
You can choose from the poses in terms of your present level of flexibility and medical conditions associated with your body. It is highly recommended to practice any yoga pose under the supervision of a verified yoga teacher. They can help you with the modification in the poses and customized it for your body.
Golden years for fitness
Fitness is not only about looking good. If you wake up happy that’s enough to determine your health in many ways. Yoga cultivates a mind-body-emotion link, combines stretching with a deep breath, and develops relaxation. Practicing yoga in old age makes you touch some spiritual aspects along with its physical benefits. Yoga is one of the safest forms of exercise available for seniors with immense benefits.
Benefits of yoga for seniors
Although yoga has tremendous health benefits on the mind and body irrespective of the age of the practitioner, for seniors, the values of the benefits are more. Here I’m listing some benefits of yoga that seniors or old age people will easily relate to
- Fitness and ability levels
Practicing yoga enhances one’s fitness level that results in an improved ability to do day to day work. There are numerous yoga postures available to strengthen the core and develop a strong foundation of the body. Yoga reduces the risk of falls in the case of seniors as it provides stability in the system.
- Maintains equilibrium
Elderly people are often noticed with some unconscious movement of the body part, especially hand, yoga can help in improving this state of the body. Practicing yoga regularly creates equilibrium in the body and generates a certain level of awareness of the movements.
- Improves flexibility
Yoga movements are so fantastic to generate an extra stretch in the body without causing any damage to the body. Flexibility in the muscles encourages the tissues to loosen and relax, which eventually helps to amplify their range of motion.
- Encourage deep breathing
As yoga involves the coordination of breath and movements in the body, it results in expanding lung capacity to hold breaths for an extended period. Holding the breath for a longer period enhances the overall pulmonary health and respiratory function of the practitioner.
- Bone strength
In elderly age, most people tend to have problems with brittle bones. Consistent practice of yoga can improve the weight-bearing power of the bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Some promising researches claim to improve bone density in the body by Yoga practices.
- Alleviate anxiety and stress
Anxiety at an elderly age is not new to this generation. Yoga encourages mindfulness and calmness in the system and prevents the day to day stress through conscious breathing and meditation. Researchers claim that meditation stimulates memory centers inside the brain and reduces the risk of depression among seniors. Yoga activates the “feel-good” prefrontal cortex and boosts the emotional health of the practitioner.
- Improved sleep quality
Sleep disturbance is a common problem among people of old age. Sleep deficiency at this age is linked to the increased risks of high blood pressure, heart strokes, diabetes, etc. Potential sleep ensures the removal of toxins from the body and allows the brain to function properly. Performing yoga daily can help to treat sleep disorders like insomnia, relaxing the tissues in the body, and encourages a better quality of sleep.
Yoga poses for seniors
No yoga pose is specially designed for a person belonging to a particular age. You can practice yoga at any age depending on your body limitations. Old age can be a miraculous part of life if you establish yourself in yoga. Yoga is one of those exercises which you can continue throughout all stages of life, as yoga itself is said to be the study of life.
As I mentioned that there is no pose specially designed for seniors, but if you are a beginner then it is recommended to start with some slow and light poses and then take it to the moderate level. Here are some beginners yoga poses for seniors to start with;
STANDING YOGA POSES FOR SENIORS
- Trikonasana (triangle pose)
- Helps to create a stretch in the hip and lower back region of the body
- Improve the balance of the body
- Regulates blood pressure
- Katichakrasana (standing spinal twist)
- Helps to produce movements in lower spine and neck
- Provides stretch in the arms, knees and neck muscles
- Ensures firm movements of the feet
- Vrksasana (tree pose)
- Strongest pose in maintaining balance
- Enhance hip and leg strength
- Provide stretch in the arms, legs, and centers of the body
- Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Sets the foundation for alignment of the body
- Improves sensibility of the body
- Corrects unconscious postural patterns
- Urdhva hastasana (upward salute pose)
- Stretches the entire front of the body and opens the heart and chest area
- Strengthen the back
- Uplift armpits and provides a nice stretch
SITTING YOGA POSTURES FOR SENIORS
- Badhakonasana (butterfly pose)
- Regulates digestion by clearing the bowel movements
- Gives a stretch to the thighs, knees, and lower back region
- Removes stiffness and pain in the legs
- Shishuasana ( child pose)
- Create a stretch in the back and hip region
- Helps in relieving backache and calms the nervous system
- Opens up the shoulder region
- Marjariasana ( cat stretch)
- Improves flexibility of the spine by removing stiffness that comes with age and helps in releasing back pain
- Massage the complete digestive system and tones the abdomen.
- Improves blood circulation and relaxes the mind
- Ardha matasyasana (Half lord to fish pose)
- Tones the digestive system and stimulates digestive fire
- Energize the spine by providing a fine twist
- Provides stretch in the arms, back, and abdomen area
- Janusirasana (head to knee pose)
- Improves blood flow and relieve mild depression
- Relieve symptoms of menopause
- Release anxiety, fatigue and possess a therapeutic effect on high blood pressure
LYING POSES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
- Opens up the heart and lungs region
- Improves strength in the arms and create a nice stretch in the muscles
- Build up flexibility in the back
- Shalabhasana (locust pose)
- Develops the core and the abdominal region
- Tone the neck and back muscle
- Create stretch in the knee and thigh muscles
- Pawanmuktasa (wind relieving pose)
- Relieve flatulence (common among seniors) issues
- Improves blood circulation
- Release tension in the muscles
- Ananthasana (one-sided)
- Gives a nice stretch in the inner thigh muscles and opens up the genital region
- Beneficial for improving arthritis, hypertension, colitis, and peptic ulcer
- Benefits the unitary bladder by releasing toxins
- Yoga Nidra
- Generate awareness in the body
- Relax the complete body after a powerful yoga session and makes you feel energetic
- Create a state of blissfulness all around
CHAIR YOGA FOR SENIORS
Chair yoga or desktop yoga is in trend as it allows anyone to conveniently perform these asanas while sitting on the chair. Seniors can be benefited from chair yoga postures such as neck roll, spinal twist, temple rub, bending of arms and legs, and seated forward and backward bend. Benefits of chair yoga poses are:
- Relaxes the neck and removes stiffness in the back and neck region
- Alleviate fatigue and tension in the muscles
- Increase flexibility
- Coordinate body and breath movement and generates a sense of balance within the system
- Increase focus
Try doing these yoga poses under the supervision of a yoga teacher or your family members to prevent any damage to the body. The yoga routine can help you in spending your old age time perfectly without facing any health issue.