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Why Seniors Should Practice Yoga and Meditation

Why Seniors Should Practice Yoga and Meditation (and How to Begin)


Physical activity is one of the most essential aspects of aging well. But when you’re older, you have to find ways to stay active without overdoing it. With yoga and meditation, you can reap benefits for both your body and mind without overexerting yourself, and there are many different types and styles so that each person can find what works for them. Also, if you’re a caregiver, it’s a great way to exercise with your loved one. Here, we’ll discuss the benefits of yoga and meditation and suggest ways to incorporate them into your life.


Benefits of Yoga


There are many benefits that come with yoga. Not only can it be practiced by seniors who suffer from chronic back pain, arthritis, inflammation, and other ailments, it can reduce the effects of these conditions. Here are a few of the areas that yoga improves:


Strength (muscle and bone)
Blood circulation
Cardiac health

There are also lesser-known benefits that come with yoga. For instance, yoga can be connected to your dental health and gut health. Since stress and depression are known to contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, and heightened tension can result in jaw pain, the stress-relieving practice of yoga can improve your dental health. Furthermore, your gut health is connected to several other areas of your body. Because regular exercise can boost your gut microbiome, yoga can greatly improve your gut health, which can leave you feeling healthier and happier.


Benefits of Meditation


Yoga practices are most often joined by meditation, and the two of them are growing in popularity as people realize the benefits. Meditation is a practice in which you focus your mind and re-route your thoughts to a desired path. When incorporated into your daily routine, it can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Also, mindfulness meditation can improve concentration, boost self-awareness, and help seniors combat age-related memory loss. Furthermore, it can help you control blood pressure and lead to better sleep, which are both critical for people in their golden years.


Starting Out


Yoga and meditation are beneficial for everyone — no matter what your age. And one of the best parts about these practices is that you can start and maintain them basically anywhere and anytime. For instance, if you would rather exercise at home, carve out your own meditation space with enough room to do your yoga poses. Make sure it’s clutter-free, and add any elements that will make it relaxing (e.g., candles, flowers, soft lighting, landscape art, etc.). If you want to add a social element, consider joining a yoga class. Along with providing community, classes can serve as a motivation to follow through with your routine even when you don’t feel like it.


Maintaining Mindfulness


It’s important to understand that — whether it’s for health reasons, a scheduling conflict, or some other reason — there may be times when you can’t do your poses. But you can always practice mindfulness. This is perhaps when having your own meditation space at home proves most useful. You don’t need any special equipment or memberships to meditate. If you start to feel stressed or anxious, taking a few minutes to recalibrate your mind; it can change the whole course of your day. Even if you feel great, dedicating five or 10 minutes a few times a day can keep you in the right frame of mind.


When it comes to your overall health, yoga and meditation are some of the most effective habits you can incorporate into your everyday life. Do your research to unpack the plethora of benefits offered by both, and consider making your own space at home or joining a class. Also, remember that you can meditate anytime and anywhere. If you’re looking to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health as you age, yoga and meditation should be at the top of your list of things to try.


Photo Credit: Unsplash

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Wind in the Willows Acupuncture is moving to the West End Village!

March 1st has been a momentous date for the pfront of buildingast 4 years for Wind in the Willows Acupuncture, with 2016 being the biggest yet.  March 1st we will be opening at our new location at 42 Wabash St in the West End Village of Pittsburgh.  Wind in the Willows will be debuting its new Yoga Studio, which will be a wonderful compliment to the health benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Yoga, and specifically the yin aspects of deep stretching are an often overlooked part of a healthy lifestyle.  Now with everything under one roof everyone can begin to incorporate these health benefits into their lifestyle.  For more information about our fantastic teachers, class descriptions, and updated schedules check out our New Yoga Studio page.  Stop on by to check out our new space and always remember at Wind in the Willows Acupuncture we are  “promoting health at its roots!”


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Can Acupuncture Help Treat Depression?

acupuncture-depression-01Depression is a serious medical illness that can lower a person’s quality of life while contributing to the onset of symptoms such as headache, insomnia, fatigue, and malnutrition. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. say they are depressed. Depression a growing problem that’s often masked with prescription drugs, forcing some to look for alternative forms of treatment.

Most cases of depression are treated with prescription drugs that trigger a range of problems of their own. Fluoxetine, ertraline, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, citalopram, and escitalopram are just a handful of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants, all of which have a long list of adverse side effects. However, researchers are now saying that acupuncture may effectively treat depression in some individuals. continue reading »

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New Study Reveals Acupuncture Benefits For Women In Menopause

menopause-acupuncture-01Natural menopause – the absence of menstruation for longer than 12 months – often comes with a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, irritability, night sweats, and of course hot flashes. However, a recent study found acupuncture to reduce or even eliminate some of these systems, improving quality life and reducing stress/anxiety in women going through menopause.

Researchers at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan monitored 869 participants who are were going through menopause while using 12 different treatment methods. One of the 12 treatment methods was acupuncture, which surprisingly proved to be the most effective at relieving the discomfort associated with menopause.  continue reading »

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3 Ways To Improve Your Posture

poor-posture-01-smDo you suffer from poor posture? Whether you’re sitting down at a desk, standing, walking or running, you should focus on maintaining your body’s natural position. This means keeping your head and neck up while avoiding slouching or slumping. The good news is that you can reverse the effects of poor posture by following some simple steps.

Some of the physiological problems linked to poor posture include: continue reading »

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