The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation for Seniors (and How to Get Started)

 Written by: Harry Cline

While you may think of yoga and meditation as hippy stuff, you should seriously consider these healthy habits if you’re approaching or already in your senior years. There are an estimated 2.9 million people over the age of 55 who benefit from a regular yoga practice.

 

 

It’s a low-impact workout that emphasizes listening to your body’s needs, so it can help build strength, balance, and flexibility without risking injury.

 

Yoga and meditation can help with various problems including substance abuse and addiction. For many people in addiction recovery, having a good relationship with the physical self is just as important as the spiritual one. A yoga practice and regular meditation help relieve stress and promote mindfulness, which can make every day more enjoyable. Many people find that yoga and meditation help when it comes to pain relief and tolerance, as well. Additionally, yoga and meditation provide a sense of empowerment that maintains a healthy self-esteem.

 

What Is Yoga?

Yoga is a 26,000-year-old practice that originated during India’s Golden Age. Since then, it’s branched out to different ways of practice with their own specific intentions. Generally, yoga involves holding specific positions or “poses” while focusing and maintaining breath.

 

While in the West it’s often considered just as a form of exercise, there is actually a philosophy and spirituality to yoga as well

 

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mental exercise that allows a person to regulate their attention, calm the mind, and introspect. Regular meditation improves a person’s health, wellness, performance, focus, memory, creativity, and self-control. There are many ways a person can meditate.

The more common image we conjure up is of a meditating person being still in a seated position for a set amount of time. However, one can also practice a kind of moving meditation, including yoga.

Setting Up a Yoga or Meditation Space

Before you dive into yoga and meditation, it’s helpful to create a quiet, relaxing spacein your home where you can practice. The location of this space is up to you; however, it should ideally be somewhere away from distractions.

You might consider a spot with a view of nature, if possible, or include some green potted plants or gentle candles to help soothe your mind

 

Starting Yoga and Meditation as a Senior

Many people are nervous about starting a yoga practice, unsure if it’s for them. But yoga is for people of all ages. Most classes welcome anyone, whether you’re younger, a grandparent, or have certain physical limitations. You can do yoga standing up, sitting in a chair, or resting on your back. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

If you are completely new to yoga, it may be helpful to attend a class at a local studio or at your gym. When you go to a yoga class, the instructor can help you when it comes to refining your poses and encouraging breath.

Remember: Not all yoga classes are the same. Seniors should avoid advanced classes and heated styles like Bikram yoga.

Look for classes labeled as beginner and for styles like “hatha,” “Iyengar,” and “restorative” yoga.

It often helps to learn a few basic poses before you attend your first yoga class:

⦁ Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, is the foundational pose for all other standing poses.
⦁ Tree Pose, or Vriksasana, increases strength and stability in the legs.
⦁ Low Lunge Pose, or Anjaneyasana, releases tension and strengthens the hips.
⦁ Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, keeps the spine flexible.
⦁ Legs Up the Wall Pose, or Viparita Karani, is helpful in relieving anxiety, mild depression, insomnia, digestive problems, varicose veins, menopausal symptoms, and tired legs.

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While there are meditation classes you can take, it’s definitely not something you have to take classes to learn how to do. You can find guided meditations online through various sources. There are even apps that help you build your practice. However, all you really need is a nice, quiet space where you can sit undistracted and focus inward.

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When you start your meditation, sit down on a cushion or pillow and set a timer to your desired amount of time. Keep your back straight and soften your gaze. It may help to light a candle that you can focus on. Bring your attention to your breath and allow yourself to simply release any thoughts or sensations you become aware of. The mind will wander — just bring your attention back to your breath when you start to notice it. Most importantly, be kind to yourself as you improve your overall practice.

Yoga and meditation are healthy habits that help parents, grandparents, and caregivers live better lives. Yoga classes are very helpful for beginners to ensure that they are doing the poses in a safe and effective manner. Meditation, however, can be started at any time. Start today!

*** Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-To’s for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.

Elder Education: The Benefits of Earning a Degree as a Senior

The habit of learning is one that adults often foster in children, but it can also be a good plan for healthy living throughout your life.

Individuals who tackle new educational opportunities maintain their zest for life and enjoy better health, as well as a more satisfying social life. If you are considering taking on pursuing an associates degree or other goal in your later years, you are likely to benefit in a number of ways from your endeavor.

Intellectual Stimulation

For those who have retired from their usual field of work, the change of pace and lack of mental challenges can pose a problem. These individuals are often used to constant interactions with a team of co-workers and a wealth of problem-solving opportunities offered by an average workday. Pursing new educational opportunities can be an appropriate remedy for post-retirement boredom and can provide topics to aid in social interactions. Studies show that the earlier you retire, the more likely you are to experience cognitive decline because of lack of stimulation.

Seniors often become more socially isolated after retirement and often have fewer opportunities to learn new subjects and skills. This lack of intellectual stimulation can lead to memory problems and slower cognitive function. New learning helps to counteract this effect.


Greater Ability to Connect with Young People and the Wider World

Often, retired individuals become disconnected from what’s going on in the wider community, and they may find it more difficult to engage with grandchildren and other younger people in society. The knowledge and information provided by lifelong learning allows older people a greater understanding of the experiences of young people and the wider world. This ability not only provides mental stimulation, but also a better connection to younger family members and others.

Enhanced Access to Work Opportunities

If you are a senior who must, or prefers to, keep working after the age of 65, demonstrating your ability to acquire new skills and compete intellectually will be seen as a recommendation for job opportunities you may wish to pursue. Acquiring an associates degree in a specific area of study can be key to allowing you to enter a new field that interests you.

Better Physical Health

Individuals who remain intellectually engaged appear to enjoy better physical health, as well as having improved mental acuity and memory. This result appears to come from the mental activity causing individuals to get up and engage to pursue their interests. So exercising your mind also helps to exercise your body, with all the health benefits that normally accrue from such activity.

You Can Take Advantage of Free or Low-Cost Programs

Your desire to continue learning in your later years can also qualify you for a number of free or low-cost courses that are available in many communities across the country.

These programs have become available as greater understanding of the benefits of lifelong learning for seniors become better known.

These programs can help you to begin or continue your studies, as well as bring you into other seniors who are also pursuing subjects that interest them.

Lifelong learning is not just a phrase for the young. It can be a way of thinking that helps you to gain greater quality of life throughout the years. If you have a curious mind, enjoy intellectual challenges and know how to apply yourself to a subject, you can continue your learning opportunities, regardless of your age.

Research the many avenues that are now available to help you explore new subjects and develop new skills. You will find that your academic pursuits enrich you both mentally and experientially.

* See More On Education Here

21 Good Tips For Keeping Your Brain Alive And Active At Any Age

I have Alzheimer’s in my family, so this post is for me too. And, let’s face it; everyone could use tips for staying active to be as healthy as they can be. My sweet mother had the disease, as well as my grandfather. So, I always have that nagging warning in the back of my mind.

The Lord took mom with breast cancer before the Alzheimers got too bad. I’m definitely a believer in things always happening for a reason. <3

This blog post isn’t JUST for Alzheimer’s patients; however, I have good points for those people that do have it. 😉

This blog post is also excellent for grandmothers! Me, me, me! LOL

The second half of the tips shared, I didn’t elaborate. I left that up to YOU. Chime in with your thoughts! 😀

Right off the top of my head, I can come up with an awesome tip to start.

1) Surround yourself with vivid colors! This can be in the form of your home and decor, your clothing, places, and events that you frequent, painting, and things that you study or even websites you visit often. It can be anything you see, any place you go, or….these vivid colors can be ANYWHERE. Going on a vacation in the fall season would be excellent for viewing all kinds of pretty fall colors! =)

Remembering that vacation, that piece of clothing, that building, that website, for example; would be a lot easier than remembering something that`s rather boring.

2) Consume pomegranate! It can be in the form of seeds, juice, fruit, extract, and powder. According to Authority Nutrition – Health Line dot com, pomegranate is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat. Studies have shown that it’s great for a host of diseases, your physical performance, and the elderly.

Also, pomegranate CAN (help) against Alzheimer’s disease.



3) Surround yourself with good friends! Socializing with human friends is awesome for giving your brain a boost. In fact, it’s all-around good for (ANYONE at ANY age).

Studies also show that healthy friends and relationships help support emotional health. Notice how much better you feel after getting out with friends on a particular day or evening! 😉

If you don’t get together with humans on a regular basis, you can start to volunteer somewhere, visit your local church or community, go to bingo halls, sign up for purple hat, or join a gym. Just a few ideas there. Although, it’s important to remain close with your family members and friends. See them often and don’t lose touch!

4) Start coloring! Say hey, only kids color! Well, have you noticed all the adult coloring books floating around the stores?

Yes, it’s true! Pay attention to the trends in coloring. Many adults now have coloring books and are creating many beautiful works of art. Some are going beyond coloring and engaging in drawing and painting. In fact, charcoal drawing is quite popular today.

Also, the outlet of letting your mind go and just creating is remarkably therapeutic! Paying attention to all that you create can sharpen your mind considerably. This can also help with self-esteem.

5) Go back to school! Excellent for keeping the brain active. Also, this one is definitely for any age for people that quit school or the elderly that are retired and suddenly have extra time on their hands.

6) Do some type of activity/workout on a daily basis! Enough said! lol

7) Take daily multivitamins with good nutritional quality! Some people don’t like or simply do not believe in them. That’s fine; however, there are some good vitamins and herbs out there that CAN help with memory and energy.

8) Participate in games! These games can be card games, trivia, video games, and memory games.

9) Try to get some ZZZ’s during the day! Get in a good habit of taking a nap every day. You may not realize just how beneficial this can be with memory and general brain function. A daytime nap will benefit you almost as much as your sleep during the night. It only takes 30 minutes or less.

10) Get interested in word find books, crossword puzzles, and jigsaw puzzles! I’ve always liked the word find books and of course, jigsaw puzzles. Crossword puzzles, not so much.
These activities consistently engage and stimulate the brain.

The Following Tips Are For My Readers and Subscribers To Elaborate…I’d Love To Hear From You! 😀

11) Eat a well-balanced diet! You will also need to eat sugar and fats very moderately.

12) Engage in Meditation and Deep breathing!

13) Invest in a pet!

14) Read every day!

15) Don’t drink alcohol!

16) Start crocheting or knitting daily!

17) Study a foreign language!

18) Don’t smoke!

19) Try a variety of foods when dinning out!

20) Keep your weight in check!

21) Start each day with a great attitude! Beleive in yourself!

Cheers to a healthy, happy life! <3

Website Review For The Mobility Superstore. CO.UK

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I was delighted to get the chance to do a review for The Mobility Superstore.CO.UK 🙂

The website offers various products for all types of independent living. In fact, their mission statement is “Caring For Those In Need.” The store features well over 6000 mobility aid products.

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Each product has an in-depth description along with the appropriate measurements such as the BATH BENCH DERBY.

The The Mobility Superstore has carefully thought about the many needs of seniors that will enable them to live more independently.

The store is associated with Days Healthcare which is a member of the British Healthcare Trades Association. Their products are safeguarded to the highest standards of elderly care and living. Product categories range from kitchen and dinning, bathing, fall management, massage therapy, comfort and dressing, beds and accessories, walking aids, wheelchairs and much more.

From the Mobility Superstore’s philosophy, they provide:

* Great Choice
* Customer Care
* Value For Money

Their website is designed for a specialized, easy and secure online shopping experience

For updates on products and news, subscribe to their quarterly newsletter Here.

For Customer Service, contact info@themobilitysuperstore.co.uk

Copyright © All Rights Reserved – Tammy Embrich – Grandma’s Home Blogger Place