As we age, balancing becomes more difficult. This is accompanied by a greater risk of osteoporotic fractures and a fear of falling. For this reason, it's crucial to include balancing poses in your training regimen. Asanas (postures) and breathing techniques are used in yoga in order to improve one's physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. As yoga has no age restrictions, even the older members of your family may begin doing it.
has also proved the positive impact of yoga as a means of fall prevention by improving balance, mobility, and muscle strength in the elderly. Yoga has many health advantages, but its adaptability for elders is just significant. It may be practiced alone or with others, in a group or at home, and it can be modified for varied levels of flexibility, mobility, and experience.
Read in detail the step wise instructions as well as benefits of four yoga asanas that are proven to better balancing and prevent fall episodes, particularly in elderly masses.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
How to do it?
- Stand with your feet slightly apart with your weight balanced equally on both feet.
- With each inhalation, lengthen your spine and try to reach the crown of your head by raising your arms in an upward direction.
- Raise your heels and step onto your toes to progressively shift your weight. Try to maintain equilibrium while remaining still.
- Breathe and stay in the pose for 20 seconds.
- Exhale and release your arms and feet to come back to the starting position.
- Perform this pose 2-3 times.
- Improves posture
- Strengthens the legs
- Improves flexibility
- Promotes overall body awareness
- Improves blood circulation across the body
2.) Tree Yoga Pose (Vrikshasana)
How to do it?
- Stand straight and keep a one-foot distance between the legs.
- Flex your right knee and keep your right foot up on the left thigh. The sole of the right foot should be positioned flat and firm near the root of the left thigh.
- Ensure that your left leg is straight. Keep in balance.
- Take a deep breath and raise your arms over your head from the side. Join your palms in Namaste mudra (hand-folded position).
- Look with a steady gaze in front and maintain a steady balance.
- With slow exhalation, gently bring down your hands from the sides.
- Repeat the same with the alternate leg.
- Improves balance
- Strengthens thighs and calf muscles
- Improves knee mobility
- Reduces shoulder stiffness
- Helps with sciatica
3.) Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana)
How to do it?
- Stretch your legs out straight in front of you while you sit.
- Fold both of your legs now and crouch down to sit. Keep your hips on your heels, with your big toes touching at the back and pointing outward behind you.
- Place your palms on your thighs, straighten your back, and look forward.
- Hold on to this pose for 5 to 10 minutes while taking long and deep breaths.
- Exhale and relax.
- Straighten your legs.
- Strengthen the muscles of the legs and lower back
- Improves concentration and focus
- Improves balance and equilibrium
- Helps calming your mind
- Aids in digestion
4.) Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
It is quite comfortable to sit on a chair, but sitting on an imaginary chair might not be that easy. This is exactly what we do in a chair pose. Chair pose strengthens your core and lower body.
How to do it?
- Stand erect with your feet slightly apart.
- Exhale as you bend your knees. Consider as if you were sitting on a chair. Softly press your pelvis down while drawing your navel in.
- Inhale as you raise your hands around your ears. Keep your elbows straight.
- Keep reaching higher while sitting lower for 5 to 10 breaths.
- To return to the starting position, exhale as you straighten your legs by pressing your feet down, then bring your arms down to your sides.
- Exercises the spine, hips, and chest muscles
- Strengthen the legs and lower back
- Balances the body
- Improves concentration
Additional Measures to Follow for Fall Prevention
It is advisable to discuss with your physician or physical therapist
regarding fall prevention. Take the following measures:
- Talk to your doctor about any changes to your medication or exercise schedule.
- If you fall, let your doctor know.
- Instruct a friend or member of your family to look around your house for trip risks.
- Prefer to exercise under the supervision of other family members or friends for safety, guidance, and help.
- Stop exercising if you experience any discomfort or pain while performing any of the yoga poses.
Due to the natural effects of aging, older adults are more likely to fall than younger adults. Taking actions to prevent falls should be a priority for all older adults. Yoga is a natural way to strengthen and heal your body besides addressing your health issues like improving the balance of a body. Yoga poses that emphasis balance and strength training help lower the chance of falling, even if falls cannot be entirely prevented. Spend at least 30 minutes a day practicing yoga which is all about maintaining balance within yourself through different poses. There are no side effects involved if done under proper guidance. Remember to talk to your doctor or physical therapist first before starting new exercises, especially if you have weak balance.
Recently Answered Questions Related to Elderly Health Issue
Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes.