Practicing yoga has long been known to increase balance, improve mobility and ease the pain of arthritis. New research shows that practicing yoga can help ease symptoms of mental and emotional problems as well. A regular yoga practice can help seniors reduce the risk of contracting dementia. For people who already have dementia, practicing yoga can slow down how fast the disease progresses. Caregivers can also reap the benefits of a regular yoga practice.
Research shows that regular physical activity can prevent dementia from occurring. Yoga is an excellent exercise for people of any age or fitness level. There are many varieties of yoga to choose from. People can choose restorative classes to rejuvenate the mind, gentle yoga or an athletic power yoga course. Yoga raises heart rate, and is a weight bearing exercise. Both of these factors are important for maintaining low blood pressure and relieving stress. Chronic stress coupled with high blood pressure is one cause of dementia.
Mental stimulation is important to combat dementia. Learning the Sanskrit names of poses can stimulate the mind. Staying social is also another element of preventing dementia. Attending yoga classes at the local gym or studio can provide seniors with social interaction.
Yoga for People with Dementia
A regular yoga practice can benefit those who have dementia in many ways. Yoga improves balance and coordination. As people progress in their dementia, their physical mobility often deteriorates. Balance and fine motor skills are typically the first aspects of mobility to be impacted. Lengthening muscles, tendons and joints during a yoga class helps to keep the body in its best shape.
In addition, yoga relieves joint pain and stiffness. People with dementia often complain of aches and pains in the body. A regular yoga practice can keep joints healthy, and relieve pain associated with arthritis.
Yoga is not just an exercise program. Most yoga teachers incorporate deep breathing and meditation techniques into their classes. Dealing with dementia can create feelings of stress, sadness and anger. Deep breathing techniques and meditation help to calm the mind as well as the body.
Overall, yoga can help improve the quality of life for people who suffer from dementia.
Yoga for Caregivers
Yoga is also recommended for those who serve as caregivers. In most cases, caregivers must be physically fit to deal with the demands of their position. As the disease of dementia progresses, caregivers may need to be able to help with activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing. Acting as a caregiver to a loved one can be extremely stressful. Practicing yoga can help alleviate the stress of assisting a family member who suffers from dementia. In addition, the relaxation techniques, like deep breathing and meditation, can be practiced outside of class to keep the caregiver strong and healthy.