Yoga and Seniors
Yoga is an ancient practice that can have origins in India. It entails constant movement, meditation, breathing techniques, and mental and emotional well being to promote physical and mental well being. There are many kinds of yoga and so many disciplines within the art. This article explores the background, philosophy, science, health and fitness benefits, as well as the different branches of yoga.
The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit term meaning “to join”. This practice has been adapted through time to fit the needs and requirements of people from different walks of life. In India, Yoga is not just a spiritual practice but also one of the most common and basic forms of exercise. Yoga combines physical exercises with breathing exercises and meditation to enhance overall well-being and fitness level.
There are numerous different kinds of Yoga which include Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. Hatha Yoga primarily deals with breathing and meditation while Raja Yoga deals mainly with postures or postural alignment. Kundalini Yoga is the most popular and effective among other forms of Yoga. It takes a gradual approach to achieving physical and mental well being through physical exercises. Ashtanga Yoga is generally considered to be suitable for beginners since it makes use of simple poses that gradually build up strength and flexibility.
Yoga is known for its focus on the breathing. Although it has a lot of physical components, yoga practice poses are designed to help people relax through the process of deep breathing. Breathing is believed to be very foundational in improving overall well-being as it promotes better circulation of blood in the body, leading to improved immunity and a better functioning cardiovascular system. Yoga offers a variety of breathing practices, which include the basic oxygen breathing techniques that are used during sports and daily life as well as the mindfulness breathing techniques which are useful in reducing stress and tension. Yoga is also a source of alternative healing which provides relief from many ailments through the relaxation and focusing of the mind.
Restorative yoga is one form of Yoga which utilizes props such as chairs, walls, blocks and pillows to provide support and help in stretching the muscles, joints and tendons. These props are then used as specific pose or asanas by the individual as a way of focusing the mind and body. The practice of restorative yoga can greatly benefit seniors who may suffer from limited mobility or difficulty in maintaining proper posture due to age. Many people who have suffered strokes and injuries are incorporating yoga movements into their daily routine as a means of stimulating the healing and restoration process.
Another form of Yoga that is quite popular with the public is Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga involves a much slower paced pace than the physical poses which are commonly found in most classes. The focus of Hatha Yoga is on breath awareness and meditation and the physical poses are done slowly to increase the focus and attention of the person. Most people who practice Hatha Yoga have an emphasis on deep breathing and increased awareness of their bodies as well as the mind.