Have you and your loved one considered practicing yoga?

Lisa Wurth

May 24, 2012

Yoga is a wonderful activity for seniors - with plenty of benefits!It’s a proven fact that exercise not only keeps our bodies healthy, but it also helps to reduce the risk of falls in seniors because it works our muscles, improves flexibility and strengthens our balance. If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing and relatively easy way to work exercise into your loved one’s life, why not try yoga?

Not only is yoga great for stretching out muscles and ligaments, improving balance and normalizing blood pressure – it’s also a wonderful way to calm the mind and improve you and your relative’s outlook on life. Here are ways to adapt a yoga session to a senior’s needs, as well as a few moves you might consider trying at home.

1. Be sure to clear the new exercise with your loved one’s doctor before you begin taking classes. This will ensure that he or she is healthy enough to engage in the poses and won’t experience any serious health risks as a result.
2. Don’t worry about being able to hold the poses for long periods of time. It’s okay for your relative to rest when he or she gets tired, then start the pose again when ready.
3. Have your loved one train his or her eyes on a specific point in the room when focusing on balance. Looking at the ground or straight ahead is better than looking upward at the ceiling.

Moves to try
1. Easy pose. This move promotes inner calm, strengthens the spine and opens up the hips. Simply sit on the floor and cross your legs, situating your feet below your knees. Rest your hands on your knees and sit as straight as possible.
2. Corpse pose. This exercise is relaxing and can stimulate blood flow, lessen fatigue and symptoms of indigestion and constipation, among other things. Simply lay with your back on the ground and your arms and legs spread to your sides. Your palms should be facing upward. Try stretching out your body and breathe as deeply as possible.

Just in case, you might want to invest in a medical alert system from Bay Alarm before you start practicing with your loved one at home. With a medical alarm, your relative will be in touch with an emergency response team at the push of a button in the event of an injury.

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