How Yoga Can Help The Elderly

How Yoga Can Help The Elderly

Psychological Well Being (PWB), the new buzz word in health and wellness refers to well being, quality of life, and mental health. It encompasses attitude and approach to life in relationship to cognitive processes like aspiration, social comparison, and adaptation levels. It gives a holistic dimension to aperson’s health Involving the body andmind as interdependent parts going way beyond wealth, material possessions or a disease-free body.

Yoga for healing ¡s the ‘done’ thing in social circles now. Studies have shown that yoga for healing as a technique to relax and focus the mind, helps people maintain clarity and a positive outlook, reducing anxiety and maintaining an overall balance, affecting of well-being of a person under conditions of stres.

Yoga And The Mind-Body Connectedness

Yoga is the ultimate choice when aspects like physical fitness, mental agility and spiritual zest for an older adult is concerned. With an alarming increase ¡n psychological issues in this technologically advanced era, there is a pressing need to address the spiritual need of well-being, especially so with the increase in longevity across the globe.

Yoga lays emphasis on mind-body connedness, iolving postures, breathing, and meditation. When behaviour and inteactions undergo a transition with yoga, lite gets a new spiritual, direction resulting in health and harmoflLFor the élderly, it otters an unbeatable combination of relaxation, meditation, socialization, and exercise, alleviating anxiety and depression ‘ while facilitating the management of the body’s streèmanagement ‘I responses.

From Pain To Wellness With Yoga

Yoga, as a 5000-year-old practice with its roots in India, has gained immense recognition in the West. With focus on mindfulness and sensitization to ones’ body, yoga is similar to a healthy distraction, intentionally shifting focus from pain to wellness. As a powerful tool for promoting mental and physical well-being, it has become the focus of research for a potent preventative and cost-effective alternative to overall well being.

The British Psychological Society describes yoga as, ‘a very gentle form of exercise incorporating stretching and deep breathing.’ It enhances psychological well-being, not only because it is exercise (with the established evidence of the benefits of exercise for well-being) but also because movements like stretching and deep breathing bring about a surge in the oxygen supply to various parts of the body, helping ease tension, while improving circulation and impacting overall welI-being’

Why Yoga Should Be Practiced

  • Twenty years of research studies at Dukes University Medical Centre show the efficacy of yoga as a great alternative to medication and drastic weight-bearing exercises for joint aches and pains and muscle stiffness.
  • Gentle yoga, under supervision, helps swollen painful joints heal, increasing mobility, reducing tension and strengthening muscles without excess wear and tear.
  • It is very effective in the treatment of chronic pain, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also advocated for fibromyalgia.
  • Research has shown that cytokines (markers which indicate level of inflammation) actually decrease, with sustained practice of yoga, because pain is localized as one becomes quiet with focus and awareness of self.
  • Stress related chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, heart related ailments, gastritis, anxiety, and depression have responded favourably to the practice of yoga.

Yoga And Pain Relief

Pain as a result of damage to the body, has been the norm since decades, but recent research indicates that chronic pain is sustained by learning and recall of the initial trauma experiences and mind-body relationship. Chronic pain ¡s in the mind with its roots in trauma, stress, loss, illness and past pain. In science the word is ‘neuroplasticity’ or the process of learning from past experiences and in yoga, the word is ‘samskara.’

Harness The Power Of Samskara

This new understanding empowers us with more avenues to address chronic pain, other than reliance on surgery, medication and physical therapy. With yoga techniques like breathing, relaxation, and restorative poses, we unlearn chronic stress and harness the power of samskara/neuroplasticity for healing and positive change using mind-body approaches to unlearning trauma and pain.

Yoga And Muscle Learning

Yoga as a concept is shrouded in religious beliefs and misconceptions. True, the philosophies of Buddhism and Ahimsa are interwoven in the practice of yoga, but nowhere is it required to surrender one’s religious beliefs in order to derive the benefits of yoga.

Just holding still in a pose brings about muscle learning. Asanas like the Mountain pose, Tree pose, Downward Facing Dog, Triangular pose, Cobra pose, and others, help in sustained healing. Thus, through yoga you can reclaim life, health, and harmony, be it chair yoga, modified yoga, breathing techniques, relaxation or hardcore yoga asanas!

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