Encouraging a Parent on Yoga
My mother is now in her 80’s. She’s looking good for her age, which is surprising, as she really didn’t start taking care of herself until she was in her late 50’s.
Back then, she had many issues with arthritis that affected her shoulders and hands. Finding that the usual physiotherapy was not helping her manage her pain, she decided to seek help from alternative medicine. She learned some specific exercises from a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and also supported herself with an assortment of herbs.
This was her introduction to taking care of herself.
Recently, she told me that she was having issues with her hips. She had gone to see the doctor and had done some therapy, but the discomfort persisted. When she spoke to the doctor again, he told her that she was probably doing too much exercise for her age. She was doing a Chinese form six days a week and Aerobics/Yoga three times a week.
Needless to say, I was very disappointed that a physician would make such a diagnosis without thoroughly checking her movements to see what else could have been causing this problem. Maybe these days the medical profession just doesn’t have the time to assess every individual ailment.
So I took the time and watched her do her exercises. As she went through each step, I corrected some of her alignment, actually making the stretch or movement easier for her. Then I showed her some very simple basic yoga poses to do before getting out of bed. For example, I suggested that she bring her knees to her chest, rotate her knees in one direction and then the other, all the while being conscious to keep her neck and back relaxed.
I also showed her the very simple inversion of placing her buttocks against the wall while lying on the floor with her legs stretched up towards the ceiling. “WOW” she exclaimed! She could feel all her back and hips begin to release tension, and also feel the blood flow to her head.
As she diligently continued with these exercises, the pain in her hip was alleviated. She was very happy to finally get rid of her hip issues and has now returned to her physical activities, although she has cut back a bit by doing only one workout a day. And I, in turn, am delighted because she has asked me to continue showing her more poses whenever I go to visit.
Sometimes, simplicity is the way to introduce individuals to our wonderful world of Yoga.
[tags]yoga for seniors, yoga for the age 80, simple yoga poses, workout, basic yoga poses, pain release with yoga exercise[/tags]
Christina, when I read your description of yoga poses that you’d shown your mother, I realized that my mother has been doing these exact same poses for ages and neither of us even realized that they’re yoga poses. My mother does them faithfully every morning and, on the rare occasions that she doesn’t do them, she feels the difference in the aches and pains that follow her throughout the day. It’s great to know that both my mother and I are doing yoga ~ now all I need to do is convince my husband to join in the fun!
Isn’t it wonderful how we are constantly becoming aware that certain poses or exercises that we have been doing are some form of yoga.
I am so happy to hear that your mother has been so diligent about continuing her exercises, hopefully we will be able to encourage her to do other poses in the new year!