With so many people suffering from stress and anxiety these days, it’s no wonder folks are looking for different ways to feel better. Yoga and meditation are some of the most popular activities for Americans who are looking to relax, but for seniors who are newcomers, it can be a little overwhelming to begin a new regimen. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get started with simple poses and quiet introspective time, both of which can help you strengthen your body and boost your mental health at the same time.

[Many of Ashley Flower’s yoga classes are suitable for seniors beginning yoga. Contact Ashley to find the class that is right for you: relax@ashleyflowersyoga.com]

Peaceful Yoga in Portland Maine

You might look for a local class specifically for seniors that incorporates water or a chair for comfort and safety, or create a space in your home that will be quiet and distraction-free for meditation. The benefits of yoga and meditation together are numerous, from helping you restore balance and agility to allowing you to reduce stress and other negative feelings. It can even help regulate your metabolism and improve your memory function when done regularly.

Keep reading for tips on how to introduce yoga and meditation into your daily routine.

Create a Dedicated Space

Creating a dedicated space for practicing yoga and meditation can help you stay motivated to keep doing it every day. Look around your home for an area that will give you enough space to move freely without fear of injury, and think about which spot will work best for relaxing without distraction. If you have an unused room in your home — or a room that has furniture in it but doesn’t get much attention — consider making it your own personal space.

Stay Safe

Staying safe while you’re practicing yoga is imperative. Look for poses you can do with a chair to maintain balance or in the water to make it easier on your joints. If a pose hurts, stop immediately and return to a normal position. If you’re unsure of how best to stay safe, start with a class where you can get personalized instruction and support.

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Treat Back Pain

Stretching the body in a safe way can work wonders for back and joint pain. It can also increase your flexibility and agility, allowing you to stay safe while walking or performing other activities. This is a great way to not only stay fit and feel better but also to prevent falls and injuries. Yoga can even help with arthritis pain, but talk to your doctor beforehand.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

One of the major benefits of meditation is that it helps you learn to focus on the present, which is a wonderful tool for people who suffer from anxiety and stress. Relaxing and tuning out worries about the past or future can help relieve negative feelings and allow you to give your attention to the things that matter most in your life, and when combined with yoga, it can help you cope with stress in a healthy way rather than relying on activities such as substance abuse.

Learning to practice yoga and meditation daily can help you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally, and it can prevent injury and health issues down the road by helping you stay fit and strengthening your bones, muscles, and joints. Start by taking a class or looking up an instructional video online, and go slowly; remember to take it easy and stop immediately if you feel pain. With a little practice, you can make yoga a part of your daily life.

Harry Cline is the creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.