In Altadena and elsewhere around the country, people will be observing National Yoga Awareness Month during the month of September. The main point of this designation will be to raise awareness of the many benefits to be gained by practicing yoga. Even elderly persons can realize some of the advantages of yoga since many of the positions and practices are not stressful to the body in any way. In this article, we’ll consider some of the amazing results achievable through practicing yoga, regardless of what stage of life you may be in.
Arthritis is not exclusively an older-age affliction. However, it’s true that there are far more adults and seniors who suffer with arthritis, and experience painful inflammation that takes place around the joints of the body. One of the reasons it is more common in older persons is that by the time people reach the age of 50 or so, the cartilage between joints will generally has begun to break down. This can cause two adjacent bones to be rubbing directly against each other, which is, needless to say, not very comfortable. Yoga can help with arthritis by making a person more flexible, thus eliminating some of the tension and inflammation around the joints. Research has shown that yoga can help significantly reduce the pain and discomfort commonly associated with arthritis.
Back pain and core strength
Enhancing your core strength, allows you to reduce some of the pressure on your lower back and spine. With less pressure on the lower back and spine, you may experience greater flexibility and overall strength. The spine will always be much better supported when a person engages in strengthening exercises involving the legs, abdomen, back, trunk, and hips. The new positions and exercises you do when practicing yoga will begin to develop and strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the body, thus adding to your core strength. Anytime an individual has back problems, doctors may recommend that the person’s core muscles be strengthened.
Nerve pain or neuropathy
Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from neuropathy, which is commonly associated with diabetes. When bothered by diabetes, a person will often lose feeling in the extremities such as fingers, toes, and feet. Sometimes this loss of feeling is preceded by a persistent tingling sensation in those same areas, meaning that the nerves are being attacked there. Circulatory problems can also cause this numbness or tingling sensation, as can a number of other illnesses and diseases. Yoga helps to relieve this situation by improving circulation all around the body. When a person is in close touch with his/her body and listens to what the body is trying to convey, it can become much easier to address problem areas. The yoga practitioner may have to work through some poses and exercises in order to gain a good understanding of where nerve pain is occurring, but greater mindfulness can help identify these areas more readily.
Managing blood pressure
Somewhere around 33% of all American adults suffer from some degree of high blood pressure. Several studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga can help to lower blood pressure to manageable levels. This is attributable to the fact that yoga emphasizes calming the mind and body so as to contact the inner self and maintain greater mindfulness. While practicing yoga, it becomes easier to forget about the stresses and trials of the day, and this is what allows blood pressure to resume normal readings.
It’s quite possible that a person afflicted by asthma early in life will experience a worsening of the problem later in life. In addition to asthma, several other breathing issues such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can trouble an individual later in life. Yoga places a strong emphasis on breathing techniques, and this can help to relieve obstructed breathing to some extent. Since during yoga, a person’s heart rate stays relatively low, yoga is also ideal for people suffering from asthma. However, people who practice yoga should be careful about participating in sessions that involve the use of essential essences or oils, because some of these may be triggers that bring about an asthma attack.
Some people have difficulty sleeping at night because they feel too awake or too alert to drop off to sleep. Assuming the problem isn’t related to caffeine consumption or other ailments such as sleep apnea, this condition can be helped in a major way by regularly practicing yoga. Since yoga helps an individual achieve a calmer state of being and greater mindfulness, it can prepare you for sleep more effectively. The intentionally slow, deep breathing used in yoga promotes a greater state of relaxation and calm, thus enabling a person to be better prepared for a restful night of sleep.