Article from guest writer Brad Krause.
Many retirees typically experience lessening flexibility, weaker muscles, and an inhibited ability to move around as they age. This can be frustrating on several levels — not only are they less able to get around physically, but they can also experience a great deal of frustration at their declining motion. The best way to combat this is to help them take steps to improve their mobility and flexibility. Through clever, careful use of yoga and meditation, you can help to keep the senior in your care limber and flexible, both mentally and physically.
Boosting Your Senior’s Mind with Meditation
As the aging process continues, many seniors frequently have difficulty reconciling their self-image as younger, healthier people when their current state requires them to slow down and take caution. For many seniors, this can lead to feelings of worthlessness. Additionally, any kind of negative talk can build up over time, which is why many seniors choose to become more reserved, separating themselves from their family and their relationships. It is therefore critical for seniors to have a sense of purpose and of self, independent of their age. This is one of the key ways meditation can be beneficial for seniors.
While you may find that the senior under your care might initially approach meditation with skepticism, you can tell them that at the center of meditation is self-talk, or mindfulness of one’s self and the surrounding world. Meditation can help seniors come to terms with their own aging and even take joy in it. It can also help create a cycle of positive self-talk in their minds that not only supports good moods, but even boosts their overall cognition and memory recall. In short, practicing meditation for 15 minutes every day can help seniors feel youthful and active.
Boosting Your Senior’s Health with Yoga
A common side effect of meditation is the desire to start conquering the other major stumbling block seniors experience: a body that may be less healthy than they prefer. Not only can yoga help you build muscle and help improve your mobility, but it can also tackle problems such as an unhealthy gut, which occurs when the flora in your gut becomes out of balance.
The best use of their time is to combine the two activities into one exercise that helps support the body and mind simultaneously. Mindfulness meditation is at the heart of basic yoga, which is an exercise routine involving stretches, held positions, and deep breathing. While not all forms of yoga are equal (some types can be extremely difficult for athletes), there are many varieties of yoga that are specifically designed for seniors, like chair yoga, which provides a chair or stool to assist seniors with their balance while they hold the different positions.
Practice Yoga and Meditation at Home
You can also make it easy for the loved one under your care to explore the world of yoga and meditation by setting them up with their own practice space in their home. You can create a small home gym where they can participate in all of their home-based workouts, but keep in mind that it’s safest for seniors to exercise on padded or rubber flooring in a room with ample lighting. If an all-around home gym isn’t necessary, it’s simple to set up a calming space just for yoga and meditation. If you can, find a quiet spot with a view of nature or another relaxing focal point. Add a yoga mat to cushion the floor and a reliable WiFi connection to allow them to watch or stream instructional videos, guides, and exercise classes. Bonus points if there’s enough room for you to practice alongside them.
Yoga and meditation are great ways for seniors to overcome the troubles of their advancing years. After months of supporting their mental health with meditation and their physical health with yoga, they will feel more flexible and quicker in body and in mind.
Brad Krause graduated from college in 2010 and went straight to the corporate world at the headquarters of a popular retail company. But what started as a dream job soured quickly. After four years of working 15-hour days and neglecting his health, he decided enough was enough. Through aiding a friend during a tough time, Brad discovered his real calling-helping people implement self-care practices that improve their overall wellbeing. He createdSelfCaring.info to share his own knowledge and the many great resources he finds on his self-care journey.