In the last decade, yoga has emerged as one of the most crucial exercises for the overall wellness of the human mind and body. From toning your muscles to soothing your spirit, from balancing your hormones to treating medical conditions, yoga offers several benefits. Yoga makes us strong mentally as well as physically. thus people likely to do yoga over the gym. So Yoga helps old people to get relief from their typical old age pain. Here, we try to give an important guide to seniors on yoga. Refer it and be fit even at the age of 60.
Is Yoga Appropriate for Seniors?
Once people cross the age of 60 years, they are often skeptical about practicing yoga. However, the best part about yoga is that it is helpful to people of all ages. So, if you have just retired from your hectic job routine, it is probably the best time to pursue a healthy habit and start yoga. You can either start practicing yoga from the comfort of your home or attend regular classes.
Why Practice Yoga at Old Age?
By the time you reach the 60s, your body has gone through a lot. Sedentary lifestyle, chronic illness or injuries, unhealthy eating habits, etc. begin to take a toll at old age. Although aging is a natural process and you cannot do anything about it, by practicing yoga, you can have a healthy and long post-retirement life.
Yoga is the perfect solution to postpone your age-related health problems. This natural therapy can improve your motor skills as well as treat pathological problems. More importantly, attending yoga classes not only helps in mastering it quickly, but it also allows you to connect with the outside world as well.
What Should seniors Know Before Starting Yoga?
Although yoga is a practical and safe exercising technique, older people must be cautious before they start yoga. If you have any chronic medical condition, then you must discuss with your doctor first. Similarly, if you have back problems like sleep-disc or spinal injuries, it’s probably best that you avoid asanas requiring twisting or bending your back. In general, follow these tips of beginning yoga for seniors:
- Instead of warm-ups, try brisk walking
- Rather than holding a posture for a long time, try poses with repetitive movements
- Take adequate rest after each pose
- Ensure that you practice yoga under the watchful eyes of a yoga-instructor or yoga-expert
What are the best Yoga Asana (Positions) for Seniors?
Although seniors can follow most of the yoga asana suggested for younger people, experts advise on going easy with the effort, time, and apply that yoga poses for flexibility. Some of the best yoga asana for senior citizens are
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose is a simple yet effective standing yoga asana for seniors. Most of the senior people often complain about hip-related issues as they grow old. Trikonasana focuses on stretching and strengthening the hip region. As a result, you strengthen your hip, groin, hamstring, calves, etc. It helps you in attaining physical and mental equilibrium that regulates blood-pressure more effectively and reduces anxiety and stress.
Also known as the butterfly pose, Badhakonasana is a sitting yoga asana. In this pose, you tuck both your feet close to the groin and clasp them tightly with your hands to tie them together. The movement of your legs during the posture gives the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings. Regular use of this pose helps in regulating digestion and clearing bowel movements. As you stretch your thighs and groin, age-related joint pains reduce.
Cats are one of the most flexible animals we know, and Marjariasana revolves around them. Through this pose, you mimic the excellent feline stretch to reduce the stiffness of your back and best yoga pose for wrists and shoulders. As you stretch your back, it improves blood circulation and reduces back pain. Additionally, it tones your abdomen and improves digestion by messaging your digestive organs.
Bhujangasana or Cobra pose is another excellent asana for older people. In this pose, you lie down on your stomach to resemble the Cobra with its hood raised. This asana is also a part of the Surya Namaskar and makes your upper and middle back flexible. Through this pose, you expand your chest, and it is quite useful for seniors having respiratory problems. Additionally, since this pose reduces fatigue and stress, you feel more energetic.
The wind relieving pose or Pawanmuktasana is an effective solution for stomach related problems of gas and constipation. In this pose, you lie on you back with your feet together. Next, you bring your right knee towards your chest and press the thigh on your abdomen. After that, you lift your head and chest off the floor to touch your knee with your chin. Repeat the process with your left knee. Apart from helping in digestive problems, this is one of the best yoga pose for back problems and abdominal muscles.
Apart from these poses, here are some other yoga poses for elderly you can try:
- Shalabhasana: Strengthens neck and back muscles.
- Shishuasana: Improves nervous system
- Katichakrasana: Strengthens arms and legs.
- Sukhsama Yoga: Easy yoga for elderly beginners to improve eyes, neck, jaws, etc.
- Yoga Nidra: For allround mental peace.
While most of the yoga positions mentioned above are simple to practice and work like a charm for elders, they might not be so gentle for some. Chair Yoga is perhaps the best solution as a gentle yoga for seniors.
What is Chair Yoga for Seniors?
As the name suggests, Chair Yoga, also known as Desktop Yoga, involves practicing yoga while sitting on a chair. It combines simple, practical, and efficient yoga asana for seniors and office-goers. All you need to do is to grab your chair to get the benefits of the chair yoga. Depending on your physical requirements, you can pick from several asanas of Chair Yoga.
Chair Yoga Poses:
- Eagle arms
- Cow stretch
- Bend seated forward
- Seated spinal twist
- Temple rub
Apart from increasing the overall muscle strength, chair yoga provides the following health benefits:
Chair Yoga Benefits:
- It relaxes the neck and back muscles.
- It helps in reducing body pain, tension, and fatigue.
- It increases flexibility to enable the seniors to bend.
- It helps in coordinating different bodily functions.
- It imparts a sense of balance.
- It alleviates breathing problems.
Chair yoga is an excellent way to realize the benefits of yoga by older people having mobility restrictions or difficulty in practicing routine yoga.
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors:
As you might have realized by now, yoga is a study of life, your body, mind, and ego. Here are some of the physical and mental benefits you can get with yoga:
- Yoga allows you to interact with others and maintains a social life.
- Yoga regulates your blood pressure.
- Yoga helps in treating digestive problems like bowel movements, gas, and constipation.
- Yoga reduces anxiety and stress.
- Yoga strengthens muscles and bones.
- Yoga keeps your joints flexible.
- The meditative properties of yoga give you peace of mind and help in sleeping better.
- Yoga reduces fatigue and keeps you energetic.
- Yoga expands your chest and lung-capacity.
- Yoga strengthens your nervous system to protect against neuro-generative disorders.
In a nutshell, practicing yoga for senior citizens forms a healthy habit to tone your body and uplift your mood at the same time. Hopefully, this article encourages you to practice yoga and helps in achieving maximum benefits by attaining physical and mental equilibrium.