You may not consider yourself as being old or you may simply take the view that you are no longer young, however, if you are experiencing daily aches and pains, stiffness, or restricted movement, your body can make you feel old.
The western culture can be very desk-bound with over 9 hours of the day spent sitting either at work or at home. A large proportion of the population suffers from some form of back and neck pain usually caused by constantly having to hold the same position for long periods throughout their working lives.
This can catch up with you in your later years, with chronic pain reducing the amount of movement even further. The knock-on effect can often be that you hold your body in such a way as to avoid the pain which can lead to more bad posture and even more pain.
Unfortunately, unlike some other countries that have community programs to offer movement and exercise for the older generation, in the west, we rely more on operations to relieve joint and back pain and prescription tablets to manage the ongoing pain.
Do more movement more regularly
The obvious solution to this is to do more movement more regularly so that your body can help maintain itself better.
Yoga’s gentle moves can help reduce the aches and pains of ageing by strengthening the muscles and improving joint mobility. Regular yoga exercise can help improve flexibility and relieve stiffness and pain.
The breathing techniques practised in yoga can also help increase lung capacity and reduce the heart rate and blood pressure.
The combination of the body and mind focus in yoga can help provide periods of calm and relieve anxiety and even depression.
In his book Yoga as Medicine: The Yogic Prescription for Health and Healing, Timothy McCall MD describes the wide-ranging benefits to people of all ages dealing with various health issues:
“While I was researching yoga therapy in India, I visited centres that treated people with all kinds of physical, mental and emotional problems: old people, stiff people, people with years of chronic disease, people in pain, people who were too depressed to get out of bed. Yoga has been used successfully on schizophrenics and on children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism.
Those who are bound to bed or wheelchairs can do yoga modified for their needs and abilities. There are people in their eighties, nineties and beyond doing yoga, and I am convinced that if you embrace the practice, you’ll increase your odds of making it that far, and feeling good when you get there.”
The western way of operations and tablets is not the only solution to aching joints, stiffness and pain management. An ageing body can definitely be helped to feel better by doing gentle yoga regularly.
If this article strikes a chord with you watch the video below for some suggested yoga moves that may help. As always please discuss with your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime as they will be aware of your full medical history and can advise on any adaptations you may need to make.
We’d love to hear if you have relieved symptoms of pain by doing yoga and what you have found most helpful. Comment below.
Photo by Ksenia Makagonova on Unsplash