By Virginia Cooper
Yoga is one of the few exercise routines focusing on developing unity and harmony between the mind and body. It is a way to balance the mind, body, and spirit.
Meditation is a way to connect with your inner self, letting go of all the thoughts that weigh you down. It helps you find clarity in your life by giving you time to reflect on what matters most.
Yoga and Meditation for Seniors
As we age, it becomes more difficult for our bodies to recover from injuries due to the reduced production of new cells.
Yoga can help with this by strengthening muscles and improving flexibility. It also helps reduce stress levels and anxiety, which are common in older adults. A recent study showed that yoga can help seniors maintain their mental health and reduce the risk of dementia. This can be attributed to the fact that yoga helps with circulation, breathing, and flexibility.
Meditation is a simple and effective way to reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase focus. It has been shown to positively impact the brain with increased gray matter density in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory formation and learning. In addition, the practice has decreased the risk of dementia by fifty percent.
Yoga and Meditation for Caregivers
One of the most essential things in a caregiver’s life is finding ways to care for themselves. Caregivers must find ways to take care of their own needs and those of their loved ones.
Meditation is effective for caregivers by reducing stress and anxiety levels and improving sleep quality. It also helps them with self-care, which can help them stay in the caregiver role longer.
Yoga improves their moods and reduces stress levels. Caregivers who practice yoga tend to be more energized throughout the day, making them happier than those who don’t practice yoga.
Yoga also can improve the quality of life by reducing pain in the body and improving sleep, two problems that most often accompany the role of the caregiver.
Making Space in Your Home and Your Life
When you’re looking to commit to daily yoga and meditation practice, begin with five or ten minutes a day for the first week and slowly build that time up. Habits take a while to form. One study found that forming a habit or pattern took about 66 days. We’re all unique, and the time we take to form a habit will differ for everyone. The best advice is to take it one day at a time: every day is a new possibility.
Set aside a time and a place. Clearing out a room or section of your home for you and your senior for your practices will mean you’ll be more likely to actually do them. Not only will having a dedicated space, your own yoga studio, remind you and encourage you, but the very act of removing clutter from your life is also a great stress reliever. Many older people don’t want to permanently part with those things that are part of their lives, so consider storing them instead. Storage units come in all sizes, so find one to suit your needs, like LA storage units of all sizes.
Using your phone to play some relaxing music and a Bluetooth speaker should be all you need for sound. A few plants, comfortable lighting, and soft and comfortable yoga mats can make a great start in your studio. You may also want a television with a big enough screen to follow any instructional yoga videos you follow.
Resources for Caregivers
For caregivers, one valuable resource is POCWASN Self-Care Services, which focuses on ensuring the health and well-being of those caring for special needs individuals.
Understanding the importance yoga and meditation can play in your life and also in the life of the senior you’re caring for should prompt you to begin incorporating those practices into your daily routine. Create a space in your home by putting all unnecessary items into storage to create a relaxing studio environment that can be a place of healing and comfort for you both.