The process of aging is inevitable and brings along a lot of problems like stress, anxiety, depression, dullness, sleep deprivation, etc. Normally one seeks medical help to deal with these issues. Medical help requires an intake of medicines that might have side effects as well as regular visits to the Doctor which at times becomes heavy on pocket.
An alternate method to overcome or postpone these problems to some extent is by incorporating Yoga asanas into the daily routine. Yoga is a form of exercise that involves breathing, meditation, and movement.
Yoga also helps in increasing flexibility, improving balance and coordination, reducing pain, and increase in strength. 30 to 45 minutes of Yoga exercises help in keeping oneself healthy, active, happy, and independent. It is a workout that helps you relax and deal with all the tensions in your life in a more calm and orderly manner.
Yoga for seniors begins with basic breathing exercises, a little bit of stretching asanas/poses, and meditation. All the poses should be performed keeping in mind the medical conditions and problems of the seniors in mind.
This style is technically called “Hatha Yoga” as they are slow-moving. After a few months of practice, getting flexibility, one can try “Viniyoga”.
Viniyoga is based on the custom approach of selecting asanas that suit one’s stage of life and state of health. In other words, it is adapted to fit each person’s particular need.
To make sure that yoga is beneficial for you, here is a list of all the things that seniors should do and avoid while doing the workout. You can click here to find the best yoga for seniors in New York.
Do’s And Don’ts For Yoga For Seniors
- Seniors should perform any asanas only under the guidance of an instructor.
- The instructor should design their program based on their health conditions and ability level.
- Aged people should hold yoga poses for a shorter time period.
- Due care of posture and alignment is a must to gain the maximum benefits.
- In seniors, the focus should be on the areas which are tight and weak like the lower back, hamstrings, ankles, hips.
- Post performing a stretching exercise, special care should be taken to relax the tension.
- Complicated poses should not be performed by senior citizens.
- Don’t perform the poses with a full stomach. Always eat at least 2 hours after a large meal before doing yoga.
- Make sure to not bounce in stretches.
- Add warming up as a crucial part of your routine.
- Once finished, lay on the back for 2 to 5 minutes, breathing and relaxing.
- Avoid doing yoga directly under the sunlight.
- Don’t drink a lot of water or take a shower till at least 30 minutes after doing yoga.
Best Yoga Asanas For The Elderly
Anulom Vilom Pranayam
It is an alternate nostril breathing exercise that helps in controlling and balancing the tri-doshas of the body. Tri-dosha means three impurities of the body namely, air, heat, and cough. If the three impurities of the body are not balanced properly, the individual falls ill. This asana is very useful in respiratory-related diseases like Asthma. It also relaxes your mind by reducing stress, depression, anxiety, and helps in keeping the heart-healthy.
The word Bhramari derives from Bhramara which means black humming bee. While performing this asana, one makes a humming sound resembling the buzzing bee sound through nostrils. This helps to combat stress, anger, and anxiety enhances memory and concentration, relaxes the mind, and improves the overall health of the ear, nose, and teeth region. Ideally, this should be done thrice a day.
Pawan means wind, Mukta means release. It helps in releasing the digestive gases from the stomach and intestine with great ease. This asana helps in strengthening the abdominal muscles, massages the internal organs, strengthens the back muscles and tones the muscles of arms and legs and improves the blood circulation in the hip area. This asana should be performed twice a day, early morning, and late-night before going to bed.
The meaning of the word Uttan is raised, the pad is leg and asana is a pose. This posture also helps in the prevention of constipation, acidity, back pain, indigestion. Also helps in strengthening the thigh muscles, hips, reproductive system, and increases blood circulation.
Also known as the mountain pose, this is often tagged as the foundation of all the standing asanas or poses. Those seniors that have a hunching problem can truly benefit from this pose. It will help to improve their posture while strengthening their weak ankles and thighs. It is best to perform this asana on an empty stomach in the mornings, especially when you are doing it as a part of the entire routine. Doing the pose for around 10 to 30 seconds every day can help you improve digestion and also improve blood circulation.
The child pose or Balasana is a pose similar to that of a child in a mother’s womb. As we get old, we build various tensions in different parts of the body. This pose helps you get released of the same. Practice it every morning, empty stomach to keep the dizziness away, and keep your back, shoulders, and chest alerted. It can be done from anything between a minute to three minutes. Balasana helps to facilitate the healthy functioning of the body and helps build steady breaths among older people.
Shav asana means corpse pose. This posture is very beneficial in relaxing and calming and rejuvenating the entire body. As the body relaxes and calms down, the body’s blood pressure also drops, relaxes the heart thus controlling anxiety. The other benefits include better concentration and memory. The 10-minute break with Shav asana gives the body an energy boost thus increasing productivity.
Yoga is a ritual that starts with warming up asanas, stretching asanas and relaxing the body and mind, and gaining the energy boost by ending the yoga session with Shavasana.