A recent Harvard study found that in addition to the physical health benefits, yoga can also enhance mental focus, provide relief from chronic pain, and improve quality of sleep. These benefits can extend to seniors looking to achieve better overall health. Here are four basic yoga poses from Sonoma County caregivers that can help seniors improve the quality of their sleep.
One-legged Wind Releasing Pose
This is a simple pose that can help minimize lower back pain that sometimes leads to restless nights. It also gently stretches muscles supporting the hips.
• Lay down and bend knees with feet flat on the ground
• Pull left thigh towards chest
• Straighten right leg while keeping foot pointed upwards
• Hold pose for 5-10 seconds and repeat with the other leg
Chair pose can help seniors maintain optimal heart health when performed on a regular basis. It’s a pose that stretches multiple muscles to help minimize aches and pains that can interrupt sleep.
• While standing with feet together, swing arms gently with palms down
• Bend knees as if preparing to sit and hold position for a minute
• Return to a standing position and swing arms gently
This pose can help seniors dealing with minor aches and pains. It also helps strengthen middle and lower back muscles and improve posture, which can encourage seniors to assume better sleeping positions.
• Sit on the floor and stretch legs out while sitting up as straight as possible
• Place hands on the ground near hips with fingers outstretched towards feet
• Flex thigh muscles on one leg and gently rotate thigh inwards
• Point toes upward while flexing ankle
• Hold and repeat with other leg
Seated Forward Bend Pose
For seniors looking to naturally lower blood pressure, this pose can be helpful. It’s believed that maintaining a healthy blood pressure can better regulate the body’s internal clock to improve sleep patterns.
• Sit on a chair with knees together
• Round shoulders, stretch back muscles, and lean forward while breathing
• Allow arms to drop on sides while briefly holding the pose
To learn more about senior wellness, give Home Care Assistance a call at (707) 843.4368. We’re a leading provider of elder care in Sonoma County, and all of our care services include the Balanced Care Method, which emphasizes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and mental and social stimulation. Reach out today. We look forward to hearing from you.