Importance Of Balance As We Age – Decoding the Nuances With Yoga
Finding balance, when you have just started practicing yoga is quite difficult. Yoga is a therapeutic practice, in which you are supposed to hold postures for some time. It involves supporting your own body weight, without external mechanisms. To make matters easy for you, it is important to note that, if you cannot hold your balance, you may fall and hurt yourself. So, the ultimate aim of practicing yoga will be lost.
It is needless to say, that half the population lacks balance. And, it is more evident in people who are older. The inability to hold your postures, while you are stationary or moving is a very normal part of aging. You will be able to learn about balance in yoga in a lot of detail at a yoga school in India.
At this moment, you should read about how you can maintain it. It is quite evident, that many physiological processes slow down in your body, as you age. The composition of the muscles change and so does the reflex. There are changes in peripheral nerve action speeds, and all these may eventually lead to a loss of balance. The central nervous system also gets affected. Your ability to sense your spatial design also changes as you age. Additionally, cognitive changes also take place.
Importance Of Balance – From A Yogic Perspective
There are many such forces that are at work in normal circumstances. Every human being has sense of balance that is called Equilibrioception. It involves five different senses. So, you can say, that it is more complicated than you assumed. Here you will read about the various body functions that lead to proper balance maintenance. These processes generally work in tandem with one another, to facilitate proper balance.
- The Inner Ear – The inner part of the ear is also called the body’s Vestibular system. The movement of fluid inside the channels help in the maintenance of balance.
- The Eyes – The eyes are the focal points of anchors, to find your spatial location with respect to others.
- The Central Nervous System – The CNS connects the brain to the other parts of the body, through a system of nerves. It is responsible for most of the body functions.
- The Breath – If you want the body to remain balanced, you need to attain a certain level of relaxation. Deep breathing is particularly helpful in this respect. It allows the diaphragm to remain relaxed and also keeps it in the centre, thus leading to proper balance.
- The Muscles – If you want to maintain balance, then your muscles have to be in good condition. It helps in supporting the body weight. You must also keep in mind, that over-utilization of any one set of muscles can be detrimental for the body.
So, now you have a fair idea of balance, and how it is achieved. As already mentioned, these abilities stop functioning partially, or completely as we age. That is the reason why, you will hear of old people slipping and falling. But there is a way out. And, it is Yoga. You will find many seniors enrolling for yoga teacher training courses as well. There is no age for yoga.
Let us delve into the intricacies that can help you to attain balance, even in old age.
How To Improve Your Balance With Yoga?
There are various ways by which you can improve your balance, even in old age. Here we are using the benefits offered by yoga to attain the same.
- Breathing – When you are in control of your breathing, you are in control of many things. It is not good for you to take very short and shallow breaths, as it can affect your ability to maintain balance. Take long breaths and steady ones at that, to keep the body relaxed. It is especially about the diaphragm here.
- Focus your eyes – Before you start practicing any yoga posture, that requires balance, it is essential to focus on a point. It can be just about anything. A dot on the wall, can also suffice. You can also focus on a flame. You have to ensure to maintain your gaze on the focal point, throughout the action, that you are engaging in.
- Focus on One Body Part – When you are trying to get into a posture that requires balance, ensure to stress one body part. Take for example, the Tree pose, or Vrikshasana. The ankle and leg of the standing limb is where all the action is. You have to focus your attention on the same. You must feel every nerve, muscle and reflex action originating from the area. These observations about your own body, will keep you grounded, and you will never lose balance.
- Do not Over-stress – This may sound a bit contradictory, as we are supposed to focus. But, focussing does not have to mean, stressing. You have to relax, like in swimming. When you are swimming, you have to move your hands in a certain manner and legs as well. However, you have to keep the body afloat by keeping it relaxed. Do not be forceful, as you are not lifting weights here.
Thus, if you want to retain or regain your balance in old age, then you have to practice yoga. It offers numerous therapeutic benefits.
There are a few postures that can help you get back your balance. If you have never practiced yoga, when you were younger, you can still try these. The Tree pose is one of the first postures that you should try out. Apart from the Tree pose, you can also try the Eagle pose. It also involves balancing the body on one leg, as the other one is twisted and hooked to the back of the standing leg.
A strong sense of balance is the core of yoga. It also instils stillness in your mind. You can improve your balance, by learning yoga for seniors, at one of the best yoga centres in India. Learn about flexibility and muscle control, to get the best out of it. You can practice balancing poses like Downward Dog Pose, Boat Pose, and Chair Pose, to get your balance back, even in old age.