Photo courtesy of Pixabay by longleanna
Written by Harry Cline | firstname.lastname@example.org
Meditation and yoga provide many benefits for people of all ages. Although our society often thinks of yoga as something that young, flexible people do, a Yoga Journal Magazine study found that tens of millions of seniors also practice yoga each year. That’s good news, because yoga and mediation are good for the seniors and their caregivers at any age.
We all know that meditation calms the mind while the ancient practice of yoga increases flexibility within the body. However, did you know that Harvard Medical School found yoga to improve cardiovascular function? Or, that Johns Hopkins recommends yoga for arthritis patients to help manage symptoms of pain and stiffness? Or, that seniors reported stronger feelings of empowerment after completing a yoga practice? Researchers are even studying whether yoga can improve survival rates from cancer.
Meanwhile, meditation provides a variety of benefits of its own. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation relieves stress quickly and easily and might even help people who suffer from asthma, anxiety, cancer, chronic pain and other long-term health conditions. As you might imagine, this is beneficial not only to seniors, but also to their caregivers, friends, family and loved ones.
As you can see, yoga and meditation are two beautiful, time-tested practices with a variety of positive benefits to the body and mind. These two practices, whether used together or separately, can be a relaxing addition to your self-care routine. They also provide comfort as you age and can help caregivers find time for themselves and deal with the heavy emotions that come along with caring for others.
Here’s some advice for how seniors and their caregivers can get started in yoga and meditation:
First, consider whether you’d like to practice indoors or outdoors. This is a deeply personal preference. Some people prefer the peace and quiet of practicing at home. However, if you live with other people, if your homelife is loud or chaotic, or if you simply enjoy spending more time in nature, then practicing outdoors might be a more soothing option for you, weather permitting.
Second, consider where you will practice. If you decide to practice yoga or meditation at home, you might consider setting up a safe space or even converting a spare bedroom into your very own meditation room.
Of course, you don’t have to practice at home at all. Some people prefer to practice under the guidance of a skillfully trained teacher. It’s recommended if you’re new to either practice.
You also can incorporate modern technology to make it easier for you to exercise at home. These days, thanks to technological advances, there are so many ways you can challenge your body and your mind while using technology to help you get healthy. You might try following along with a YouTube video, installing a fitness app on your smartphone, or practicing daily yoga on your child’s Nintendo Wii. Any of these make excellent options for older adults and caregivers.
While meditation is fairly safe, there have been instances of people of all ages injuring themselves while practicing yoga. For this reason, if you are new to yoga then you should always begin by practicing with a licensed yoga teacher. Yoga teachers are trained in safety, proper form and alignment. This allows them to teach you the safest ways to practice yoga without hurting yourself. Once you’ve been through a few classes with a yoga teacher and are feeling comfortable, you’ll be able to continue your yoga practice from the comfort of your own home and enjoy all the benefits.
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