The benefits of yoga and meditation are widespread and can be utilized for people of all ages, including senior citizens. Some of these benefits include increased balance and stability, improved joint health and flexibility, and a reduction in anxiety. There are also many different kinds of exercises, poses, and forms of yoga and meditation that are perfect for beginners. Below is a brief guide to the benefits of yoga and meditation for senior citizens and their caregivers.
Getting Started in Yoga and Meditation
Getting started in yoga and meditation is an easy and low-cost way to incorporate more exercise and better health practices in your daily routine. There are several ways to get started, including:
· Joining a yoga or meditation class
· Downloading mobile apps that will provide tutorials
· Watching YouTube videos on yoga poses and meditation practices
· Gathering any necessary equipment, such as yoga mats and comfortable clothing
· Finding a quiet and comfortable space that is free of distractions
· Practicing yoga and meditation yourself
Yoga and meditation do not have to require a huge time commitment either; many yoga poses can be done at home in just a few short minutes. Meditation also requires just a few minutes every day in a comfortable setting.
Benefits of Stretching
Yoga poses require some stretching, which comes with a host of benefits. For starters, stretching eases tension, stress, pain, and stiffness by increasing the blood flow to your muscles. This also allows for increased circulation, flexibility, and range of motion. Proper stretching techniques involve warming up through low-intensity exercises, holding the stretch for at least 30 seconds, and breathing freely. You can also stretch your neck, back, and shoulders for improved flexibility.
Increased Balance and Stability
Since yoga helps to increase flexibility and joint health, it also aids in improved balance and stability. Certain poses help to strengthen muscles, which may decrease the likelihood of falls that may be common with older age. In fact, trips and falls are the leading cause of death from injury in senior citizens. To avoid such mishaps and potential injuries, consider adding just a few small yoga poses to your daily routine. Consider the following yoga poses to help strengthen your muscles:
· Chair pose
· Boat pose
· Downward-facing dog
· Warrior pose
It’s also important not to over-exert yourself. Only try yoga poses that you feel comfortable with and be sure to stop any yoga pose if you feel any sharp pain.
How to Meditate
Meditating is an easy way to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increasing mindfulness. This can be done through a variety of meditation techniques, some of which includes tai chi, qigong, and walking mediation, among others. Meditation is accomplished through focusing on an object or image in your mind while removing any distracting thoughts. Other benefits of meditation include deeper relaxation, a slower respiratory rate, lower blood cortisol levels, and less perspiration. Meditation also can be done from almost anywhere, from your home or a yoga studio to a beach or a park. Yoga and meditation are easy ways to incorporate additional health benefits to your daily routine. A variety of techniques and poses are also available for beginners, which may provide a host of benefits to senior citizens and caregivers. Regardless of age or ability, you don’t need much equipment to get started, aside from comfortable clothes and a willingness to engage in a better, healthier you.
Article by Harry Cline