The mental and physical health benefits of practising gentle yoga
When you think of yoga, it will likely conjure a variety of images. Possibly, you’ll envisage serenity and relaxation, but you might also see an impossibly convoluted person in your mind’s eye!
For the uninitiated yoga can perhaps present an intimidating impression, especially for the elderly who may worry it’s beyond their capabilities. However, there’s no need for any trepidation. It’s a very welcoming pursuit, that’s suitable for all ages and one that comes with many associated benefits.
Yoga can still be practised and indeed taken up for the first time, long into your golden years.
Chair based yoga is an extremely gentle form that allows you to practise simple stretches to improve general wellbeing. It’s a great place to start if you have any balance issues or struggle with mobility. Of course, if you feel the benefits you could always move to a slightly more demanding floor based yoga, however there’s no pressure to progress from chair exercises if that’s where you feel comfortable. You can adapt your approach to yoga to suit your individual needs.
Known as pranayama, these are breathing exercises that serve to increase lung capacity, while also aiding posture and helping practitioners to sleep better – something that’s increasingly difficult as we age.
Prevent back pain
Aches and pains in our backs are common symptoms of ageing. Strengthening exercises with yoga can help to ease the burden on our backs, thanks to the improvement on posture as mentioned above.
Even those in their golden years can suffer stress from time to time, and this is another element that can be helped through yoga, as can anxiety and other negative thoughts. Concentrating on your body helps to bring calmness to the mind, clearing away any pernicious feelings.
Increased social engagement
One of the great things about yoga is that, even though you’re concentrating on your own mind and body, it’s a social pursuit. Engaging with yoga classes within the home helps you to foster a greater bond with other residents, improving your own sense of wellbeing whilst recognising its positive effects on others.
It’s important to recognise that yoga isn’t a quick fix though. You’ll not notice the full benefits from a solitary session, so be sure to engage with it over time and give it several sessions to allow you to decide whether or not it’s for you. The benefits are manifold, so it’s certainly worth persevering with.
Get in touch with the team to hear more about the activities we offer our residents at Huntington and Langham Estate.