Doing Yoga with Your Aging Parent

If you have an aging parent with a condition like arthritis or osteoporosis, you might think that they should stay away from exercise, because it is too risky. While heavy, intense exercise is surely dangerous (for anyone, not just the elderly!), light exercise can actually help your loved one stay in better shape, and possibly even decrease the severity of their condition.

One great example of this is yoga. Doing some light yoga is a great way for your loved one to stretch their muscles, strengthen their body, and calm their mind. There are many poses out there available that are easy to do, you simply have to do a quick Google search to take out a book from the library to find them. For a senior with physical limitations, it is best to stick to poses that are light, but that still offer benefits. For example, Mountain Pose seems like just standing tall, with one’s feet planted hip’s with apart as you breathe deeply, but this move serves to ground the practitioner, and to build strength in their leg muscles.

Another great thing about yoga is that it is something that you and your loved one can do together. That way, you reduce the risk of your senior having any injuries, because you are there to help them if they get off-balance or need help getting in or out of a pose. Practicing yoga together has other benefits too, though. Yoga is a fantastic way to relieve stress, which you might be feeling if you are responsible for the elderly care of your parent or loved one. You can take the time to get your own body and mind relaxed as they do the same for yours! You can both feel stronger, calmer, and more energized with just a few short minutes of yoga a few times a week.

The important thing for both of you to focus on when you are doing yoga is your breathing. As you hold your poses, breathe in slowly through the nose, and out slowly through the nose or mouth. You should be able to hear a slight breathy sound at the back of your throat when you do this. Be careful that neither you nor your loved one are breathing in too quickly or shallowly, though. This could lead to lightheadedness or hyperventilation, which can make it hard to hold a pose, and can cause falls.

Doing yoga with your aging loved one might be a great way to bond with them. The exercise won’t feel like a chore or a way to be singled out and take care of themselves if you are both doing it together, and you won’t have to feel guilty taking time away from them to tend to your own relaxation and exercise needs! You can also both encourage each other, and share a laugh if someone wobbles or is a bit clumsy. This will make doing yoga much more enjoyable, which will in turn make it something that you both look forward to doing as a part of your routine.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring elderly care services in Merced, CA, please contact the caring staff at Valley HomeCare.