Hi everyone. Living during our COVID19 times can be trying at its best. Here is a guest article about Meditation and Yoga for Seniors by Hazel Bridges with AgingWellness.org. Enjoy!
Meditation and yoga have seen a significant surge in popularity in the last few years — this is best shown in the number of Americans who have started doing yoga, which has jumped to 50 percent in the past four years. While it is mostly assumed that yoga and meditation are ideal for those working stressful jobs, this overlooks the incredible potential of these practices for seniors. If you are a senior or a caregiver to one, now it’s the moment to introduce the benefits of meditation and yoga.
Meditation in Yoga
Meditation can also be part of a versatile yoga experience, although when most people think of yoga, they associate it with physical practice. Learning to meditate in yoga takes more than sitting still for a couple of moments each day. The reason is that your mind might still be burning through a stream of worries and thoughts.
However, the more you’re able to sit with your thoughts, which will eventually quiet your mind, the more you’ll experience a sense of presence. Research shows that being in the moment helps develop that unique mind-body connection most people seem to have lost during their lives. There are also numerous other benefits to yoga meditation, including overall well-being and good mental and physical health.
Reasons to Consider Meditation and Yoga
One of the best reasons to consider introducing a daily yoga practice is to enhance your overall health. As we grow older, we’re encountering several health-related problems, both physically and mentally. These issues can often lead to some more significant concerns. For instance, isolation is known to lead to depression, which, in turn, can create issues with oral health and even malnutrition. Besides, seniors do not often follow a healthy diet, which can create an imbalance in the gut, leading to indigestion, mood swings, and skin issues.
Fortunately, meditation and yoga can tackle several different mental and physical concerns that often trouble seniors, allowing them to live healthier and fruitful lives; according to studies, both yoga and meditation have a powerful impact on a person’s overall well-being.
Seniors sometimes assume that yoga is only for young people as it has various challenging poses. However, there are many yoga forms with gentler variations that are ideal for seniors looking to boost their muscle flexibility. Other benefits yoga is known to promote include anxiety and stress relief, reduced inflammation, heart health, and chronic pain reduction.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to practice yoga at home by using technology. There are hundreds of YouTube videos for seniors that teach a yoga level that’s not too vigorous for a beginner. Other solutions are fitness apps that can be installed on your smartphone for a more organized practice. Usually, these videos and apps are created by experts in the field, so they are ideal when you’re just getting started with yoga.
Efficient meditation doesn’t take all day. At first, it is great if you devote just a few minutes and work your way up to extended periods. Meditation becomes easier if you start focusing on your breath first and become aware of it as you observe your thoughts. Acknowledge the wheel of thoughts and allow them to fade away rather than ignoring the thoughts that want to pull you into a state of anxiety or distraction, use this time to perceive and relativize them.
Meditation also has numerous benefits that both medical experts and practitioners have reported. These include decreased anxiety levels, reduced stress, boosted emotional health, improved self-awareness, more kindness, better focus, pain control, better sleep, and decreased blood pressure.
The Bottom Line
Both yoga and meditation are two incredibly healthful practices for seniors; in fact, doctors often prescribe yoga for their patients. Getting started the right way doesn’t require much, and you can find resources everywhere online. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube and numerous apps that can help you get started and practice yoga or meditation with ease.
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