“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” – Luis Bunuel
Yoga and Mindfulness is an activity that many people are familiar with and that many people practise, regardless of their age. In fact, whether you’re doing a sun salutation, mindfulness meditation, or twisting, we can work on our body, mind, and spirit whether we’re 6 or 99.
Implementing yoga programs into aged care facilities enhances residents’ quality of life through improved physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing, according to Auckland University of Technology research.
Did you know: The world’s oldest yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, has died at age 101. She said: “When you are in touch with the breath there is no such thing as age. There is so much to do and so little time.”
“Never put negative thoughts in your mind because it goes right into your body. When you wake up in the morning, say, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life.’ People say I changed their life. I didn’t change their life. I just taught them to use their breath.” May you rest in peace, Tao!
Tao Porchon-Lynch, Oldest Yoga Teacher
Tao in action
However, we’re not lying – age does play a role in your ability to let go and in the effectiveness of certain yoga poses. Yoga requires balance, strength, and flexibility – all things that diminish as we get older – and, although it may look like people making poses on the floor, it’s an activity that can cause injury if you throw yourself into it with too much enthusiasm. So please be careful – seek a professional to help you get started and get the ok from your physician first! Luckily, Yoga improves all these things too – and it can be both a great work out and a de-stressing activity.
So at what age are you considered a senior?
In this Blog Post, we’re going to look at senior yoga. People can still attend a yoga near me class, do yoga postures, and enjoy the restorative benefits of yoga well into their twilight years.
However, we at Yogazeit, offer specific programs for the over 55s! This means, that our Yoga Educators are trained in yoga specific to the ageing body including common aeging ailments such as Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s, Dementia, Joint replacements and so on… And this is to support YOU! Our team is passionate about improving health and wellbeing for the older generation. And we want you to enjoy a safe Yoga experience with the added benefit: We come and visit Nursing Homes or Aged Cares and provide the Yoga and Mindfulness practices ON SITE! Wohoo! Download our Flyer here
Why start practicing Yoga?
People practice yoga for a whole load of reasons: to reduce stress, to develop physical fitness, flexibility, and core strength and it’s a particularly good supplement to other exercises too. Yet, there is a lot of research that suggests that yoga also combats pain, irritable bowels, obesity, asthma and is also supportive for people suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer.
A UCLA team of neuroscientists found that a three-month course of yoga and meditation helped minimize the cognitive and emotional problems that often precede Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.The small study found that practicing yoga was even more beneficial for managing mild cognitive impairment than the memory enhancement exercises that have thus far been considered the gold standard
Among older people, it’s a fantastic way to develop health and well-being in a low-impact and social way. Keeping active is important at all ages – particularly when you are older. Exercise in general helps your mental health and your mood – and can contribute greatly to improved sleep patterns.
During our Yoga classes we laugh, we breathe, we stretch, we move. We actually get a full body workout – if we’re on the mat, in the pool for Aqua Yoga, or on the chair (and even in the bed! Yes, we do get participants joining our program as they get wheeled into the room in their bed)! It’s fantastic to actually see Nursing Homes supporting Wellbeing for residents of all abilities.
says Regina Cruickshank, Founder and Executive Director of Yogazeit Ltd.
What we offer:
An alternative style of yoga that has become popular in recent years is chair yoga, which, as the name suggests, is yoga performed in a chair. It’s designed for people with reduced mobility or with difficulties with balance – or indeed anyone that wants to start slowly with yoga – but it maintains most of the benefits of yoga practices, as it can improve balance, increase flexibility, and reduce aches and pains.
If the participants of this class are still quite mobile, we might get on and off the chair during class. However, in high care environment we often facilitate the whole 60min class purely on the chair – stretching our legs and arms and necks and shoulders from a seated position. It works a treat!
…, or Water yoga, is a thermal, aquatic activity,
which utilises modified movements and principles of yoga to accommodate
people of all fitness levels. This practice typically takes place in a pool,
wherein the pressure and buoyancy of water provide practitioners with support,
simplifying yoga postures for physically-challenged individuals. Due
to its low-impact nature, water yoga is particularly beneficial for
people with physical impairments, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS)
and obesity. For these individuals, aquatic exercise typically results in
increased strength, mobility, endurance and flexibility; and after training in
the water, they are often able to extend their practice on land.
This discipline of yoga is not only beneficial for people with limited mobility, however, but for experienced yoga practitioners as well. Since the surrounding water serves as the primary form of support, individuals are able to focus on other important aspects of yoga, such as anatomical alignment.
The breathing techniques practiced in yoga are also particularly beneficial underwater, as the high pressure provides resistance to the abdomen, limiting diaphragmatic expansion. Practicing deep-breathing techniques underwater, thus, provides an intense diaphragm workout, increasing lung capacity and oxygen absorption.
Aqua Yoga or Water Yoga is especially beneficial due to the low impact
These classes are held on the mat and involve a gentle age and health appropriate practice with a focus on mindful movement and breath awareness. This class style is suitable for Seniors who are very mobile and easily get on and off the floor. The class involves:- Breathing exercises- Body stretches – Muscles strengthening- Balancing exercises – Meditation & relaxation It is a slow pace class that focuses on body awareness. It is safe, fun and a lot of laughs.
There’s no age limit when it comes to feeling good.
Some Tips that older Yogis Should Remember.
It is worth pointing out a few things that might be helpful to know about yoga. There are ways to practise that may be more beneficial and others that are less so. And, whilst yoga might not seem like a particularly grueling discipline, it can hurt you if you are doing it wrong!
So, here are a few things to remember when you are starting off with yoga – things that will keep you motivated, improving, and safe.
- Start slow. When learning a new discipline, sport, or even just a pose, it is important to start off slowly: don’t rush into any yoga pose, as you don’t want to strain yourself.
- Practise regularly. Just because you are starting slowly, it doesn’t mean that your yoga has to stay slow for long. Instead, the more you practise, the sooner you will improve your flexibility, your balance, your strength, and the sooner you will see the health benefits.
- Be honest about your ability. Be honest with yourself about the amount of exercise you can do and about the way your body feels whilst doing it. It’s okay, when starting off, not to be amazingly competent nor super strong – but don’t push yourself harder than you can go.
- Get trained Yoga Teachers/Educators to guide you. It’s essential that the people you invite into your aged care facility know what they’re talking about and that they’re trained in the practice. We don’t recommend that you simply tune on to a Yoga Class on Youtube. Use your wellbeing funds wisely and make a real difference. The seniors will love to have someone come in each week they can interact with. It brings a fresh ‘wind’ into the facility and they’ll get to know each other really well and modify poses and exercises according to your resident’s needs.
Are you ready?
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0405 551 635
More info about our Yoga Programs at Aged Care for residents and staff can be found at www.yogazeit.com.au