Yoga is a widely popular form of physio-spiritual exercise, which was developed by the gurus of ancient India. Over the years, Yoga is regarded as a way of life, a blueprint by which people seek guidance on how to live a moral life.
In modern times, Yoga is practiced across the globe primarily as a fitness routine. However, its benefits goes beyond losing weight and staying fit. Yoga, when practiced on a regular basis, can be highly beneficial to people of all ages, including seniors and kids.
History reveals that Yoga was developed as an exercise to enhance the fitness levels of Yogis in order to allow them to stay in a meditative state for extended periods of time (hours and even days) without feeling any physical discomfort. So while the ancient gurus did not develop Yoga to be practiced by kids and seniors, over the years, it has been proven that its practice offers numerous health benefits that cannot be overlooked.
Most of the Yogic exercises are designed to promote and maintain perfect health for people of any age.However, for this particular article, we will focus on the subject ‘Yoga for seniors with special needs’.
Majority of the Yoga poses involve stretching and breathing exercises that have been proven to be highly beneficial for people with arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and osteoporosis, among others.
Yoga For Seniors With Arthritis
Poor bone and muscle health, disproportionate body weight, and unhealthy lifestyle are among the major causes of arthritis. Regular practice of Yoga can help make the bones strong and the muscles flexible. In addition, Yoga can help normalize the body weight, which is important in the treatment and management of arthritis.
Yoga For Seniors With Lower Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common complaints among seniors. There are a number of medications and procedures available today to help alleviate chronic cases of back pain. However, for those who seek an inexpensive, safe, healthy and non-invasive treatment for back pain, with no adverse side effects, Yoga presents an effective alternative solution.
In fact, it is known to be the most effective treatment for alleviating back pain without the use of drugs or the need for drastic surgical procedures. Over thousands of years, Yoga has been used by many in providing relief for lower back pain. Even the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society published a report that recommends therapists to use Yogic techniques to reduce back pain. Check out Yoga For Pain Management for more information on the different Yoga poses recommended to relieve pain.
Yoga For Autistic Seniors
The incidence of individuals diagnosed with autism has increased sharply over the past 20 years.The good news is that, with the growing prevalence of autism, the level of awareness and understanding has exponentially increased. In addition, there are also a number of organizations that focus on extending assistance to children with autism.
But what about autistic seniors? Sadly, there are not much available support and assistance of autistic senior members of the society. One of the modern approach to managing adult autism is the Integrated Movement Therapy, which is a yoga-based treatment. This treatment approach has been proven to be highly effective on autistic patients, including seniors as it works to enhance sociability as well as improve balance, communication skills and problem solving ability.
Yoga For Seniors With Cerebral Palsy
Yogic techniques are now widely used to fight Cerebral Palsy, which is known as a group of disorders characterized by the impaired ability of the brain to coordinate bodily movements. Medical professionals specializing in the treatment and management of cerebral palsy strongly believe that the regular practice of Yoga can significantly help people with this condition. But some other therapists believe that additional integrated research and study is required to come up with a definite finding in measuring the effectiveness of Yoga for the treatment of cerebral palsy.
Yoga For Developmentally Challenged Seniors
Yoga therapy has been proven effective for boosting IQ and the social behavior of individuals with developmental disabilities. Majority of the developmentally challenged seniors often find themselves struggling to get involved in social activities. Over time, these individuals are isolated, which often leads them to become introverts.
Through the practice of Yoga in a social setting, seniors with this condition can be able to become more confident and more social. According to studies, with proper guidance and ample opportunities, developmentally challenged seniors are able to overcome their insecurities and fears. For these individuals, group Yoga is highly recommended.
Yoga For Seniors With Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
It is true that Yoga cannot improve cognitive function or mood of seniors suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), but it can lessen fatigue and increase energy levels. And as we all know, fatigue is one of the most prevailing and debilitating symptoms of MS.
Increased energy level is made possible by regular Yoga practice, which helps patients fight other known symptoms of MS, including inefficient cognitive function, constipation, problems with digestion, lack of mental clarity, and balance. In addition, Yoga can help seniors with MS to fight not only fatigue but also heat intolerance. Numbness of the limbs and loss of coordination can also be significantly reduced through Yoga practice, along with enhanced flexibility and balance.
Yoga For Seniors With Parkinson’s Disease
Practice of Yoga can help patients suffering from Parkinson’s, particularly in controlling the rapid progression of the condition and in enabling afflicted individuals to manage the symptoms as well as lead a normal life. Yoga can improve their mobility and flexibility as well as stabilize their emotional state and most importantly, promote a better quality of life.
Yoga For Adults With Osteoporosis
Two major underlying causes of Osteoporosis are the loss of calcium and minerals in the bones, which contributes to the weakening of the bones. Over time, this leads to the increased susceptibility of bone breakage. Through regular practice of Yoga, one can effectively promote the strengthening of the bones as well as its surrounding muscles. While it is true that Yoga will not be able to reverse bone damage brought about by Osteoporosis, it can slow down its effect on the other bones by strengthening it.