When some people think of yoga, they picture someone standing on their head, or crossing their arms behind their backs in a complicated knot, or even standing on one leg for extended periods of time. While some yoga poses really are like this, this is a stereotype, and it is very limiting. Yoga is a lot more than just twisting yourself into a pretzel – it is the practice of uniting your body and mind via breathing exercises and light stretching.
Much of elderly care involves trying to find a way to relieve some of the pain that your aging loved one is experiencing, or to help them to stay more active. Believe it or not, yoga can be the perfect way to do this. Yoga can be a gentle, light way to stretch ones muscles without using weights or causing any over-exertion, and aligning your body with your breath is a great way to relax and release tension.
Here are five yoga poses from ArtofLiving.org that are perfectly tailored to seniors of most mobility levels.
- Triangle Pose – The triangle pose is a standing yoga pose that begins with one standing with one’s legs spread apart (making a triangle) on a non-slip surface or yoga mat. Then, holding your arms out straight at your sides, tilt to the left, causing your right arm to point up toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for several long, smooth breaths (or until it starts to get uncomfortable), then return to starting position. Repeat on the right side to complete the stretch.
- Standing Spinal Twist – This one sounds a bit scary, but it is actually a great move for people with digestive problems. Stand tall, with feet below your shoulders, and reach across your body to put your left hand on your right hip. Twist your body to the right as far as you comfortably can, ideally with your left shoulder facing out directly in front of you. Hold for several breaths, then return to the starting position before repeating on the other side.
- Cat Stretch – Most yoga poses are named after animals, because they remind us of things that animals do. For this pose, you are going to stretch just like a cat! To do this, get on all fours, with your knees directly under your hips, and your hands directly under your shoulders. Then, as you inhale, arch your back, like a cat does, pushing the floor away from you slightly. Then, on the exhale, release the arch and make your back flat again. Repeat several times, making sure to focus on your breathing.
- Child Pose – This one might sound like it’s for kids, but it is of great benefit for people of any age. To do this, kneel on the yoga mat and lean forward, stretching your arms out in front of you, until your forehead is resting against the ground, and your body is as flat as possible. Try to breathe in and out from your lower back, the place that feels the most relief after doing this pose.
- Relaxation Pose – At the end of any yoga workout, it is standard practice to employ the Relaxation Pose. This pose may seem simple, but it is actually one of the most beneficial poses in the realm of yoga, because it allows you to just relax and focus on your breathing. To do this, lay flat on your back on the floor with your legs and arms spread slightly, but relaxed. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing for several minutes, letting your tension wash away, and letting your body enjoy the good stretch you just gave it.
Remember to consult with a doctor before starting any workout that you think might be strenuous for the elderly person you care for. And feel free to join in with them! Yoga is good for everyone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Highland Park, NJ, please call the caring staff at Key Home Care. Serving Metuchen and Surrounding Communities For Over 14 Years. Call Today (732) 205-1635
After 14 years in business, Sharon fully immersed herself in the Senior community. She became the President of the Senior Commission in her home town of Metuchen, NJ. She is also on the Accessibility Commission in Metuchen. Sharon has been a member of the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce since 2002.
Sharon grew up in Perth Amboy, NJ with her parents, two sisters and one brother, and moved to Metuchen in 1999.
Sharon has learned a lot about the needs of seniors and their families. Everyone's situation is unique and needs to be handled individually. Sharon likes to get to know her clients by communicating with them and finding out what would make their difficult situation a little more pleasant.
In her free time, Sharon has two children that keep her busy and enjoys playing tennis whenever she can.