Over the past few years I've watched my aunts & uncles care for aging parents. I've seen how taxing it can be mentally, emotionally and physically.
As important as it is to take care of those we love it is equally important to take care of ourselves so that we can be fully present and capable to care for those who need us.
Harry Cline has experience as a caregiver and has written an article on the benefits of yoga for those who are caring for someone who might be ailing, aging or in need of some close care. Continue to read on for Harry's wisdom!
xoxo - Sabby
Stretch Your Mind and Body: Give Yoga and Meditation a Try
Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in recent years. Part of its attraction is that it produces benefits for one’s mind, body, and spirit, and the incorporation of meditation makes yoga stand out among other kinds of exercise. The combination has proven to be especially effective for improving the quality of life for seniors, and it has also been known to aid caregivers and those in addiction recovery. If you know little about yoga and meditation, don’t worry, because anybody can start. Here’s why you should try it.
We all know how difficult it can be to experience peace and relaxation in this day and age, which is one reason yoga and meditation are steadily becoming more popular. Just a few minutes of meditation can calm your buzzing mind, enhance your brainpower and benefit your whole psychological well-being. It has also shown to combat mild depression (which often leads to physical ailments, including heart problems), anxiety and stress by promoting mindfulness and enabling you to be in the moment. Yoga can also aid in relieving oral health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw pain (though you should still find a dentist to visit if you have any of these issues).
You don’t need a lot to get started in yoga. To set up a meditation space inside your home, select an area that’s quiet, peaceful, and relaxing. Try to keep decorations and distractions to a minimum, and select a spot that has soft lighting. Before long, you can find tranquility with relative ease.
We also know how hard it can be to concentrate and focus for extended periods of time in such a fast-paced, multitasking world, but regular meditation can help with that too. It promotes cognitive function, which enhances attention and concentration and can lead to a higher quality of life. Moreover, it helps protect the aging brain over time by fighting cognitive decline as well as neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The benefits don’t stop there; meditative yoga is also great for the body. People of all ages deal with back pain and as you get older, it can become debilitating. Yoga helps strengthen your core and improves muscle flexibility and agility, which, in turn, alleviates back pain. If you suffer from migraines, a consistent yoga routine fights that as well, meaning you can take less medication. Since it stimulates blood circulation throughout the body, yoga helps rid your heart of arterial plaque, helps your heart rate stay regular and strong, and helps lower high blood pressure. Furthermore, yoga has proven to help regulate digestion and assist in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Fortunately for people — especially seniors — who don’t feel comfortable heading out to the gym or taking a class, yoga is one of the many exercises you can do indoors. All you need is an app/instructional video and a comfortable yoga mat!
Along with the many mental and physical benefits, the postures and practices of meditative yoga have a particular element that makes them stand out among other exercise routines: they promote the spiritual self. Many yoga enthusiasts hold that becoming aware of this spiritual self — or higher consciousness — is important in understanding the driving force, motivation and reason behind everything we do. Therefore, cultivating awareness helps transform your actions.
Meditative yoga also helps you to relinquish control over circumstances, leading you to hold a pose even through the inevitable stresses of life. Moreover, the highly physical postures of yoga can push you into exhaustion so it’s easier to enter into your quiet mind or sacred inner space.
All of these benefits are shown to not only help seniors and caregivers, but recovering addicts as well. That’s one reason why most rehabilitation facilities incorporate some form of yoga and meditation into their programs. For many people who are recovering from substance abuse, developing a good relationship with the physical self is just as important as the spiritual one. In many ways, the two are symbiotic, and meditative yoga promotes physical and spiritual health.
Yoga and meditation — separately and together — offer several benefits for seniors, caregivers, and recovering addicts alike. They can facilitate mindfulness and cognitive health, as well as produce many benefits for the body’s health. Also, meditative yoga pays special attention to the spiritual self, which sets it apart from other exercise regimens. If you’re looking to improve your overall health through fitness or to spend quality time with someone under your care, it’s hard to find something more effective than yoga and meditation.
Harry Cline | firstname.lastname@example.org | newcaregiver.org
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Harry Cline has years of experience being a caregiver to people of all ages. From raising his three children to caring for his elderly uncle, he understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website newcaregiver.org to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.
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Sabrina Jo Atto is a seeker. She is a teacher of yoga, a business owner, a writer, and her passion in life is to help others heal.
Sabrina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan and completed her initial 200 hour yoga teacher training with Karma Yoga in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She went on to complete a 200 hour Anusara Yoga training with Skeetor Tichnor in Maui, Hawaii.
In 2013, Sabrina established Freebird LLC, a wellness coaching practice where she works with clients seeking a holistic or integrative approach toward healing anxiety and living a joyful life.