Caregivers might find themselves drawn to yoga for the simple, mindful movements and its relaxation benefits. At its most basic level, yoga is a series of stretching poses with the purpose of cleansing both mind and body of toxins and toxic thoughts. Yoga is typically practiced in a darkened room, with soothing music and an instructor who will lead participants through the various movements. Different poses address different muscles and joints and can work out kinks and help relieve stress.
Another benefit of yoga, and one that is important as we age, is it helps with balance issues and also helps to improve balance through some of the poses and the movements involved. Because a yoga session is thought to “massage your joints, muscles and brain” it is also thought to help move any toxins from your organs.
There are many levels of yoga, from beginner to advanced to yoga practiced in rooms that are heated to more than 100 degrees (this is said to aid in the detoxification process). Here are some of the other benefits of yoga:
- It helps increase your breath control.
- It enhances your endurance.
- It enhances your balance; this is crucial as we age because trip and fall accidents are the main cause of emergency room visits for individuals over the age of 65.
- Yoga raises one’s awareness of his or her own body and this might help an individual notice any slight changes in health.
- It increases flexibility.
- Your energy levels may soar and this is a benefit for caregivers who may be juggling their own family demands, working full time and caring for aging relatives.
- Stress reduction.
- Weight control might be a byproduct of practicing yoga.
- Yoga might help stabilize blood pressure, regulate metabolism, enhance digestion and improve your blood circulation.
Yoga is a practice that can be enjoyed by individuals of almost any age as there are yoga classes for seniors that are aimed at increasing flexibility and balance as much as practicing the various poses. As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before you begin just to make sure you’re healthy enough for exercise. You may find that if you’ve been sedentary, a beginning yoga class might offer you an easier way to get back into physical activity without much stress and strain on your joints.
A benefit a caregiver will surely reap is the opportunity to be mindful, exercise and concentrate on taking care of themselves during the yoga session.