Why Restorative Yoga Should Be Part of Fitness for Older Adults
People always seem to be busy working on something or the other, and all that work can contribute to stress, anxiety, and physical strain on the body. But fitness for older adults can help in a big way. Enter the art of relaxation and restorative yoga. The purpose of this valuable exercise is to help take your body into a very deep state of relaxation. It’s like putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your hectic life for 75 minutes of peace and serenity.
What Is Restorative Yoga?
The modern restorative yoga practice is derived from B.K.S. Iyengar’s yoga style known as Iyengar Yoga. Iyengar himself, who lived to 95, is regarded as one of the most influential yoga instructors in the world. His age alone shows the positive impact that restorative yoga can have on fitness for older adults and on aging well.
Restorative yoga is essentially based upon the principle of aligning your mental and physical state through stillness or through gentle movements done slowly over drawn-out periods of time. It also incorporates the idea of mindfulness, which involves being aware and conscious of everything that’s happening in each passing moment. On a side note, mindfulness has been shown to not only benefit fitness for older adults, but also help to improve sleep.
No matter what exercises you do, fitness for older adults can help anyone with an active and busy lifestyle to stay in shape. But the great thing about restorative yoga in particular is that it works well for all fitness levels. For more active individuals, it gives their body the chance to relax and recuperate. It’s even better suited to fitness for older adults and those recovering from an injury or illness, because restorative yoga allows you to achieve relaxation on a physical, mental, and emotional level by providing your body with a soothing and gentle energy.
Restorative yoga is also useful in fitness for older adults, because it uses the assistance of props, which allow your body to hold poses for longer periods of time and put less strain on muscles and joints. Props that are typically included in restorative yoga include blocks, straps, blankets, pillows, eye pillows, and bolsters. The wall is also used for some postures.
Most restorative yoga postures can be done with or without props; however, you obtain a deeper sense of relaxation when using props in your anti-aging yoga routine, because you’re less concerned about holding your balance and can focus more on proper technique and breathing.
Common Restorative Yoga Poses
The trick to using restorative yoga in fitness for older adults is to master the different poses. There are quite a few different ones, but the following are some of the common postures to help get you started: