The substances of teaching yoga to elderly people:
Yoga help elders in finding a place in the present society and an explanation behind living through body awareness, breathe awareness, relaxation, avoiding stiffness in the joints, and mental awareness.
Yoga for senior citizens
They may have a quite certain health issue or a variety of diseases. Older people generally don’t know how to inform an educator in a class. A yoga instructor can refrain from asking such a large number of questions at first and can rather avoid potential risk to limit any danger of further wounds. Precautions such as:-
- Just a couple of breathing methods (pranayama) are suggested: simple inhaling and exhaling in 1:2 ratio (counting slowly to 4 and exhaling counting slowly to 8), bhramari pranayama(humming bee breath).
- No breath retention on the inhale (antar kumbhaka), there is too much pressure in the chest cavity that might strain the heart. One can work toward breath retention after the exhale (bhaye kumbhaka).
- Natural ‘deep’ audible breathing, abdominal breathing, eventually practiced in combination with postures.
- No full head revolutions, simply delicate neck movements with the breath – forward, backwards, sideways and turning.
- Avoid poses where the head is lower than the heart in standing poses; this will cause dizziness.
- Introducing the mudras, it can be very beneficial for the elder’s people.
Limited use of Bandhas:
- No throat locking or navel locking should be performed.
- Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor are very important: ‘pulling up from underneath’ (moola bandha), bladder sphincter control (vajroli bandha) and anal sphincter control (Ashwini bandha).
- Khechari mudra (Rolling the tongue back) is fine but should be performed gently and without effort.yoga instructor
- People having sleeping problems that always falls asleep during the final relaxation, try and keep them aware during this time, yet allow their bodies to rest.
The benefits of instructing yoga to the older:
- As a teacher, it brings a deeper more compassionate awareness of the process of ageing.
- It allows the teacher to understand and interact better with the seniors inside the class and outside in one’s surroundings.
- The yoga class can become an opportunity for the elderly to ‘dress up’ or start taking better care of them.
- Teaching and observing how the elderly enjoy their surrender during relaxation, and even more during the deep final relaxation (yoga nidra). In old age, sleeplessness and fatigue is an obstacle; this deep relaxation allows them to rest adequately.
- Teaching yoga to the elderly from this perspective, one can bring warmth and circulation through breath work and movement. Yoga also provides a way to settle the negative aspects of Vata into the more light-hearted spiritual qualities of this Sattvic constitution.
- The elderly, anyone over and around 60 years needs to come to terms with what their minds and bodies were capable of in the past and what is possible in their present condition. These expectations of themselves might differ significantly from reality. In their current stage of life, they can re-evaluate their time and priorities and purpose of life.