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Yoga And Meditation For Seniors: The Surprising Benefits
Yoga and meditation have become popular ways to relax and stay fit over the years, but many people still don’t understand all the ways these practices can help the mind and body. Individuals with disabilities, those who are recuperating from an illness or injury, and seniors can all benefit from the gentle movements of yoga and the mental health boost meditation provides, especially since both activities can be altered to suit just about anyone. The key is to find the best adaptation to fit your needs.
You may be surprised to find that there are certain yoga poses that help with everything from digestion to posture and that maintaining a regular exercise routine in which yoga and meditation are prominent can help boost your mood and even your self-esteem.
If you think yoga and meditation could be right for you, Yoga Health and Fitness Benefits invites you to read on to find out more about the amazing benefits of these practices and how to get started.
Isn’t yoga expensive?
Many people confuse yoga as an activity for the affluent. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is a practice that can be accessible to anyone. And many studios or fitness centers offer low introductory rates or even special rates for seniors. Remember, in the beginning, attending a class is the best way to learn yoga to help avoid injury. If cost is an issue, check to see if you have access to a SilverSneakers-affiliated fitness center through a Medicare Advantage plan. If you’re not sure about your coverage, look through your policy and find out what resources are available.
Improve your sleep
Many seniors find that it becomes increasingly difficult to get good rest, either because of physical issues that keep them awake or because of changes in medication or activity levels that make deep sleep hard to come by. Yoga and meditation combined can help boost your ability to sleep, in part because of the physical movements but also because your lung capacity will be increased — helping to bring much-needed oxygen to your blood cells — and because meditating will help relax you and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
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Make a haven in your home
One of the many things meditation can do for you is to bring relaxation, especially when you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious. Eventually, with practice, you’ll be able to meditate just about anywhere, but when you’re starting out, you may want to consider creating a space in your home that is specifically dedicated to meditation. It should be quiet and free of both distractions and clutter; a great way to ensure this is to go through the room and box up anything you no longer need or use.
A storage unit can hold your belongings until you decide what to do with them, and in the meantime, you can free up some space so that you can find peace of mind. You also might want to consider cleaning your windows. That will help them to let more natural light into the home for optimized yoga/meditation. And don’t be shy about hiring a professional; just search Angi for “window cleaners near me residential” to read some reviews and find someone who does good work.
Relieve joint pain
Many types of exercise can make joint pain worse, such as running or playing a sport, but yoga is one of the few gentle forms of exercise that will actually relieve some of the pain that comes with inflamed joints. Because of its low-impact nature, yoga poses are extremely beneficial for sufferers of arthritis when done correctly. Try a few basic poses at first, and if possible, practice yoga at least twice per week to see if it has a positive impact on your joints. If you’re suffering from joint pain, you can supplement your yoga practice by adding some joint-friendly foods to your diet, including ginger, kale, cauliflower, and berries.
Yoga incorporates different poses for muscle strength, balance, and body tone, all of which are great for seniors. If you have mobility issues, try a few simple poses using a chair for stability, or look into finding a yoga class that incorporates water. When you improve your balance, you lower your risk of falling, one of the most common causes of injury for seniors. Seniors who practice exercises like yoga spend 25 percent less time injured. As we age the benefits of yoga for flexibility are pretty amazing.
Practicing yoga and meditation is a great way to learn how to push away stress and other negative feelings, and it can also help you stay fit and healthy throughout your retirement years. Try adding a space in your home to help motivate you and give you the opportunity to practice meditating at your convenience. Or, if you’re unsure about how to start with yoga, look for a class near you, and ask a friend or loved one to attend with you; the more fun a workout is, the more you’ll be motivated to stick with it!