Advice for Seniors and Caregivers New to Yoga and Meditation
New things can be intimidating, but yoga and meditation are activities virtually anyone can enjoy and benefit from. By learning some of the basics, you can feel confident about engaging in a new regimen. If you are a senior or caregiver considering adding yoga and meditation to your lifestyle and daily routine, read on for important information.
What are Yoga and Meditation?
It’s not unusual for people to be unsure about the practices of yoga and meditation. While they are ancient sciences, unfamiliar activities can cause concern, regardless of how long they have been around. This is especially true if you’re concerned about achieving impossible poses or delving into a foreign spiritual realm. While the two activities are linked, you can participate in yoga and meditation separately or together, enjoying them for the fitness and therapeutic gains. You don’t need to exchange your personal beliefs to participate, and people from all walks of life — young, old, and everyone in between — can engage.
Types of Yoga Lessons
There are several options when it comes to getting into a yoga program. For instance, some people like the idea of one-on-one instruction, and you can hire someone to come to your home for individual yoga classes. Another idea is to consider taking a class at a local gym or a yoga studio. Verywell Fit explains when deciding between a gym versus studio, sessions at a gym are typically less expensive, although studio classes tend to be more flexible and offer more options. Note that basic Medicare coverage doesn’t offer benefits for yoga classes, but because there are so many potential health perks, some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage. You can look to online resources to find out what’s available to you.
What Do I Have to Gain?
Healthline explains that there are numerous potential health benefits from engaging in yoga and meditation, such as lower stress and anxiety levels, reduced inflammation, less risk of depression, and improved heart health. You also can improve your strength, balance, and flexibility. Psychology Today notes that participating in a routine yoga regimen can be also an effective tool for combating insomnia. Because you feel better in so many regards, yoga and meditation are great ways to improve your overall quality of life.
A Place of Your Own
Many seniors and caregivers decide to set up a home studio for yoga. You can simply gather your gear and clear a space on the floor, but most people benefit from a more formally designed space. Since yoga and meditation rely on focus and relaxation, clutter can be distracting. Networx recommends a room with minimal decor for the best atmosphere. Choose an area where you can adjust the lighting easily, and if possible, surround yourself with some natural elements. Even a small touch of nature can be beneficial to your well-being — a window view, hardwood floor, or hanging plants are a few ideas.
Yoga and Meditation Exercises
While yoga and meditation are related, you can also practice the two disciplines separately. Essentially, yoga poses help put you in a proper mindset for meditation. Bear in mind that you don’t have to bend yourself into a pretzel shape as part of yoga. There are poses that are appropriate for beginners and seniors, or if you have mobility limitations you can engage in chair yoga. There are even restorative poses to help if you struggle with falling asleep at night. If you’re new to meditation, there are several techniques you can try to find the most appropriate one for you. Some are more useful to people who focus best when moving, some for those who prefer a stationary method, some use sound, and so forth.
Adding something new to your lifestyle can be intimidating, but seniors and caregivers have much to gain from yoga and meditation. Look for options that suit you and are comfortable for you and your circumstances. While change is difficult, some new things are more than worth it!