Health Articles

Yoga For The 50+

Yoga For The 50+What is Yoga?
Yoga is a form of a spiritual, mental and physical discipline originating in ancient India and has deep roots in Hindu philosophy. The Sanskrit word Yoga means “yoke” from the root word yuj meaning ‘to join’.

Yoga’s a breath of fresh air.
I have found that as I have gotten older, I seem to have forgotten how to breathe. My depth of breath has slowly become shallower and shallower and I tend to breathe mostly through my mouth. I also seem to have misplaced my diaphragm because I rarely use it any more. This habit reduces our body’s oxygen flow causing us to become sluggish and fatigued, and can even lead to mental depression. Yoga teaches proper breathing (pranayama) that supplies the whole body and mind with the life giving oxygen it needs to function properly. As we become more aware of our breathing we become more aware of ourselves, enabling us to pay more attention to our needs and thus help our body and mind become stronger in its defenses against the stress, chemicals and illnesses inflicted on us by modern life.

Relaxing with Yoga.
Yoga is a time tested and reliable tool in daily relaxation that leads to a deeper state of relaxed tranquility while using very little energy. The point of relaxation is to rejuvenate and store more energy not waste it. Yoga utilizes three powerful forms of energy: physical, mental, and spiritual. When we reach a state of absolute relaxation we also reach a state of health, inner peace, and personal vitality that money cannot buy. If we live our lives in a constant state of tense muscles, work anxiety, and stress we invite all the negative things into our bodily temple such as migraines, back pain, discontent and loss of sleep. All these things can end up costing us large amounts of money to address when Yoga was all the prescription our body really needed.

Meditation: leaving our troubles behind us.
Yoga offers several forms of meditation techniques that can be personalized to suit the practitioner. Some focus on concentration while others utilize a free flow of thoughts such as the Vipassana technique. Mantra meditation uses sound or combinations of sounds that are repeated to achieve a meditative state. Steady gaze or Trataka, is performed on an object as a yoga cleansing technique to bring one closer to a perfect state of meditation. Chakra meditation meaning “wheel” represent nerve plexi that branch off of the spinal cord and serve the major organs of the body, The seven Chakras form of meditation represent the different levels of energy manifested in conscious development. All have unique attributes that can cater to an individual’s meditative tastes or goals.

Something for young and old.
Regardless of your age Yoga has a simple and beneficial message to all who seek physical and mental wellbeing. Live life with respect for yourself and others in a harmonious and easy going non stressful ideology, be aware of your physical and mental needs and always live a life of progression not aggression. If we truly believe in and follow these practices our bodies and our lives will fall into harmonious balance. That’s something we all need in our lives, not just in our golden years. Classes are easy to find in your local listings and community centers and are also taught in a lot of progressive colleges today as a way to focus student’s minds and teach important techniques to counteract the stress of strict academic settings. For the 50+ crowd it is a great way to stay healthy, active, and have fun socially in a casual non stressful environment regardless of some of the physical limitations getting older inflicts on all of us eventually.