Breathe in deep. Hold it. Exhale slowly. Repeat. Deep breath, hold it and let it out slowly. How do you feel? If your body suddenly seems a little more at ease, then you have just introduced yourself to a trivial part of a calming exercise: oga.
As we age, our bodies don’t necessarily recover as easily from our day-to-day activities as they used to. Sometimes, without realizing it, we become susceptible to symptoms of aging that we had either hoped to avoid or didn’t see coming. We may slow down, become a little less mobile, and as a result, our bodies suffer more than we think they do.
“As you get older you become more susceptible to the ailments that you get with aging,” says Kelly O’Connell. “And most of the aches and pains that older adults feel are from stiff muscles or week muscles, and yoga addresses both of those.” Not only is it a weight-bearing exercise, O’Connell, from Yoga One, says that this kind of activity helps to increase your ability to balance, which is a commonality in aging.
According to Mary Larsen, “Yoga has been shown to help alleviate or reduce many health challenges, making it an increasingly popular exercise choice for the older adult population.”
There have been many health concerns that have been linked to the sedentary lifestyle. These can include:
• Reduced joint flexibility
• High blood pressure
• Increased body fat and decreased lean body tissue
• Low back pain
• Breathing difficulties
• Poor blood circulation
• Vision problems
• Chronic pain
• Stress-related symptoms
• Inability to sleep peacefully
If you are wary about getting started, and seem intimidated by the different poses that yoga contains, you need not worry. Many facilities offer yoga for beginners and practice the importance of your pattern of breathing. Instructors walk you through many simple steps that can help you improve not only your balance, but also your overall health.
Now, one more time:Breathe in deep. Hold it. Exhale slowly. Repeat. Deep breath, hold it and let it out slowly. How do you feel?