Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Springhill Care Group | Gentle Exercises: Seniors’ Yoga
Yoga is very much popular nowadays and we all know it benefits while others think that it is hard to do and much more to elderly.  The question is; can seniors, above 65, do yoga asanas?  And the answer is of course, it is actually can do good for them as much as it can do well for any age.  All ages and from all walks of life to utilize the techniques of yoga for creating a harmonious and joyful existence.Older people can do asanas.  Union of the various aspects of our existence like body, breath, mind etc is the basic premise in yoga.  The word yoga comes from a Sanskrit root 'Yuj meaning 'to unite'.  But they can only do so provided they keep some guidelines in mind.

The kind of asanas one should do as age progresses are the following:
Substitute warm-ups with brisk walking and joint movements.
Standing Yoga Poses Triangle Pose (konasana series) and Standing Spinal Twist (Kati chakrasanas)
Sitting Yoga Poses Butterfly Pose, Cradling (if possible), body rotation, Cat stretch and Child pose (Shishu Asana).
Yoga Poses lying on the back or stomach Focus on repetitions rather than holding any posture such as the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), the Locust Pose (Shalabhasana) or the Knee to Chin Press (Pawanmuktasana).
Yoga nidra is by far the most essential part of any yoga practice, and as age progresses, it becomes even more essential to help assimilate the effect of the asana practice into our system.

There is also some easier exercise for seniors like, Sukshma Yoga.  This can be practiced independently or in a group to be a part of a larger yoga plan.  All ages can do the exercise and can receive its benefits for only within 20-30 minutes.  It consists of simple and gentle exercises for the eyes, tongue and jaws, neck, hands, feet, knees, ankles and hips.

Seniors should practice yoga asanas by following some guidelines.  The Patanjali Yoga Sutras identify asana as "sthira sukham asanam" that define as stable and comfortable is an asana.  Hence, whichever posture, held with awareness, in a stable and comfortable manner constitutes an asana.

To know if you are getting your yoga posture right you must check your inner gauge, your smile-o-meter.  Just smile, if you can do so then you are definitely doing it right.  As much as you can, always practice yoga with a smile.

The difference of senior’s yoga from the common yoga for the young is nothing much actually but the precautions alone.

The similar asanas executed by younger people could be more difficult regarding the exertion put into the posture, the period of holding the posture and essential sum of flexibility. Various cardio vascular movements and abdominals would be more suitable for a person with higher level of endurance and body fitness.

Yoga asanas augment the efficiency of immune system for the elderly.  To prove this, the Patanjali Yoga Sutras provide a clue - it says - "heyam dukham anaagatam", so that we can avoid the misery that has not yet come.  As we age, the effectiveness of our bodies and immune system appears to weaken, conveying on the leeway of a range of ailments. Habitual practice of yoga techniques, for instance asanas, pranayama and meditation can aid to keep away from these circumstances, take away the misery, and show the way to a happier and more rewarding life.

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