Staying young at heart through yoga
Hitting a bump in your New Year’s resolutions? For many seniors, January’s good intentions have turned into February inaction. However, February is American Heart Month, which makes it a great time to either begin or reinvigorate an exercise regimen to help you stay healthy.
One way to get involved with American Heart Month is to boost heart health with yoga. Holiday Retirement yoga instructor Charlie Higgins tells us that in the yoga tradition, the heart is at the center of every human action. Those who practice yoga try to act from the heart and take time out of their day to “find their heart.” In addition to helping you feel more spiritually and emotionally balanced, yoga provides many other important benefits, including improved heart health, mental health and flexibility. According to the American Heart Association, a yoga-based exercise routine may even help prevent or reverse heart disease.
Because of its proven benefits, yoga should be an integral part of your exercise regimen as you age. But how does it work?
Charlie emphasizes that breathing is the most important component of yoga. As you practice yoga poses, you’re giving oxygen to your heart, which improves circulation and benefits your body all the way from your heart center, to the tips of your toes and fingers, and through your brain tissue. A helpful way to think of this is to picture yourself as a snow globe. When you practice yoga exercises, including central nervous system stretching and the fire technique, you shake up all your energy like the snow of a snow globe and then feel the exhilaration of it settling back down again peacefully through meditation.
While yoga may seem daunting to some, it’s more than funny-sounding poses on a mat in the gym. There are many forms of yoga, such as walking and sitting, and it can be practiced by people of all ages and ability levels. Try to do each action from the heart, and you will be practicing yoga.
Whether during American Heart Month or another time of the year, Holiday Retirement communities offer a variety of engaging classes and activities that help seniors get active and incorporate yoga into their lives, making it not only senior-friendly, but accessible, since it’s just down the hallway when you call a senior living community home.
Was this article helpful? Check out our other senior living articles on additional topics like senior health, wellness, activities, lifestyle, and more.