To all the senior citizens out there, I would like to give a big shout out to manage their life so well, from raising their children to maintaining all their personal and professional relationships. While facing those life’s challenges and enjoying those happy moments with your loved ones, you forget how to take care of yourself? How to manage physical health and mental health?
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
There is a famous say – if your own pitcher is empty, how can you pour happiness for others? Self-care is important and it should never take a backseat in your life.
Growing older presents many gifts — maturity, grace, wisdom, experience, and perspective, to name a few. On the other side, the risk of life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer also increases with age. Joint stress, osteoarthritis, and other types of pain will also commonly surface as you age. It is because catabolism (destruction of cells) is higher than anabolism (Formation of cells). There is less physical activity. Bones become weak. All body systems – Digestive, Cardiovascular, Respiratory system becomes weak. Immunity power gets low and so does the metabolism rate. Also, psychologically and emotionally, senior citizens experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
Healthy eating and exercise can assist in preventing disease, injury, and keeping your physical body in good shape, and meditation and brain training exercises can keep your mind sharp.
Yog works as a preventive and restorative therapy. Though the popular image of yog may be a young person twisted with apparent ease, those who are older and less flexible can enjoy a yog practice just as much and may benefit from it even more. There is Pranayama, Breathing Awareness Techniques, Mindfulness, Meditation, Relaxation Techniques, and many more. Everyone can take benefit from this Holistic Approach. Senior citizens, who often struggle with joint stress, imbalance, and other physical limitations, can benefit from incorporating a yog practice into their daily routine.
There is a significant factor why yog has become so popular with the seniors. Here are the 5 benefits of yog out of many that proves that yog is an effective option for a healthy lifestyle:
Yog reduces high blood pressure
High blood pressure can lead to cardiovascular disease and yog reduces oxidative stress in the elderly which is one of the underlying factors of high blood pressure.
Yog promotes good joint health, balance, and flexibility
As per studies, yog proves to be a therapeutic benefit to manage osteoarthritis in elderly women. Yog postures and stretches can be extremely beneficial to prevent osteoporosis or relieve painful symptoms. The slow and measured movements involved with yog poses can lead to better balance and movement. It can also help prevent falls.
Yog improves digestion
Studies have proved that yog manages digestive disorders like Constipation, Acidity, IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). Elderly people should practice asanas like shalabhasana. It improves the process of digestion by toning the organs near the abdomen.
Improved sleeping habits.
Yog for senior citizens can be so relaxing, many individuals experienced that they are sleeping longer and more soundly, which can often be an issue for older adults. Also, yog can be a great substitute for sleeping pills.
Yog keeps the mind sharp and improves mental and emotional well being
Yog gives your mind a break from the frantic pace of everyday life. It can relieve stress and keep you centered and organized. Yog practice involves focusing on the breath and slow movements, which can help trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the by-products of stress and feelings of anxiety.
Besides, yog helps in post-surgery recovery, improves sleep quality, and overall well-being. No matter what your current fitness level is, senior citizens can benefit from yog every bit as much as younger adults. However, always consult your doctor before embarking on a new exercise routine especially if you suffer from any chronic conditions or are very inactive. Also, it is suggested to go for in-person yog class to perform yog in the right posture. Yog instructor can design the class as per your health condition.
If you are reading this blog, then let’s end this with the simple practice of chanting OM.
AUM or OM is a sacred syllable consists of three letters “A”, “U” AND “M”. “A” AND “U” together, when pronounced, become “O”, which represents the formless aspect of God. OM chanting brings the mind to focus. It is refined as “AnahatNad” as per Vedic scripture. OM chanting is also called as PranavaJapa. OM is also called as a Bija Mantra as it is attached to the beginning of the Vedica Mantra.
How to chant OM?
Sit in any comfortable pose or asana or on a chair. Palms relaxing on the knees or in Gyan Mudra. Spine erect and the rest of the entire body should be relaxed. Eyes closed.
Begin with Breath In and while exhaling start chanting OM…followed by “M” prolonged as long as possible. Continue it as long as the breath lasts. It is advantageous to chant OM with each consecutive breath. Always take a few normal breaths between the chanting of two Oms, to practice comfortably.
OM is chanted usually for 11 or 21 times. By the practice of OM chanting, the mind becomes gradually tranquil and all the restlessness along with the tension and worries disappear.
In the hustle-bustle of life, you often forget self-care and yog is a form of self-care. Growing old is something that’s not a choice, what’s a choice is to grow old gracefully and be healthy.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”
-George Bernard Shaw