How can meditation help seniors

Yoga exercises for seniors

We are as young as we feel! Yoga exercises keep the body fit, they ensure a good physical balance and refresh the mind and soul. That is why yoga is ideal for people of all ages.

In the following, Sri Sri yoga teacher Dinesh Kashikar shares his experience and gives tips on how yoga can help you grow old with dignity.

As you get older, you should also pay attention to what your body can do when practicing yoga. It is becoming more and more important how you do something and not how often.

1. Can seniors over 65 do yoga?

Yes, of course seniors can do yoga too. Yoga is essentially about bringing body, mind, breath, etc. into harmony with one another. The Sanskrit word “Yuj” also means “to unite with one another”. So it is possible for people of all ages and all social backgrounds to use yoga for themselves in order to live a harmonious and joyful life. Older people should simply consider a few things, then they too can do their daily yoga exercises wonderfully.

2. Which yoga exercises should you do best as an older person?

  • Replace the warm-up exercises with brisk running and circling the joints.
  • When it comes to standing yoga exercises, the following are good for seniors: the triangle position (Konasana) and standing rotation exercises (Kati Chakrasana).
  • As for the yoga exercises while sitting, the butterfly (Badhakonasana), "rocking the legs" (if possible), body rotation, the cat (Marjariasana) and the child position (Shishuasana) are suitable.
  • When doing yoga exercises lying down (back or stomach), seniors should rather rely on repetitions than on holding the positions longer. This applies to the cobra (Bhujangasana), the grasshopper (Shalabhasana) or the belly press (Pawanmuktasana).
  • The core of all yoga exercises is yoga nidra (the “sleep of the yogi”) for seniors as well. In fact, yoga nidra is even more important to seniors as it helps the body more effectively harness the effects of yoga exercises.

3. Are there also simple yoga exercises for seniors?

Here I recommend Sukshma Yoga (gentle yoga) as an independent yoga practice or as part of a more extensive yoga program. People of all ages can do and benefit from these exercises. A good time frame for this is 20 to 30 minutes a day. Sukshma Yoga includes simple and gentle yoga exercises for the eyes, tongue, jaws, neck, hands and feet, knees, ankles and hips.

4. How should seniors best do their yoga practices?

In the standard work of yoga, the "Patanjali Yogasutras", a yoga exercise is defined as follows: "Sthira sukham asanam." This means something like: "A yoga exercise (asana) is that which can be performed steadily and comfortably." So every posture is A yoga exercise (asana), which is carried out consciously and can be performed securely and comfortably.

5. How do you know if you are doing a yoga exercise correctly?

Feel within yourself. With each exercise, only go so far that you can still smile. This is a wonderful indicator of whether or not you are doing the yoga exercise properly.

6. How is yoga for seniors different from yoga exercises for a younger generation?

The yoga exercises that a young person does differ from those for seniors in that a younger person puts more effort into it, an asana lasts longer or is a little more flexible with regard to the stretches. Of course, there are also some exercises for the cardiovascular system and the abdomen in yoga that are more suitable for well-trained and fitter people.

7. Do yoga exercises strengthen the immune system in seniors?

Here, too, the “Patanjali Yogasutras” give a suitable answer: “Heyam dukham anaagatam.” That means preventing the complaints that are not yet there. With increasing age, the body breaks down. The immune system may also be affected. This in turn results in different diseases. Regular yoga practice such as asanas, pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation help prevent illness and lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Practicing yoga regularly trains your mind and body and is good for your health. However, yoga is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn yoga exercises under the guidance of a trained Sri-Sri yoga teacher. In the event of ailments or illness, do yoga according to the advice of your doctor and a Sri Sri yoga teacher. You can take Sri-Sri yoga classes at any Art of Living center in your area. Do you need course information or do you want to give feedback? Please write to us at: [email protected]