As a caregiver you are always looking for ways to make your loved one feel as good and as relaxed as possible. But what about you? Do you focus on your own health and well-being? If not, you need to start now.
In previous posts we’ve talked about how to identify, prevent, and reduce caregiver stress, as well as the power and benefit of meditation. On top of meditation, you should also consider trying Yoga (which includes meditating) because it has real, tangible benefits for caregivers. According to a UCLA study, “practicing yoga each day can improve cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression for caregivers.” Below are some tips on how to get started with a yoga practice.
What is Yoga?
We have all seen yoga studios pop up all around our communities. Yoga, in a nutshell, is about harmonizing the body with the mind through the means of various breathing techniques, yoga postures (asana), and meditation.
There are multiple types of Yoga including but not limited to:
Hatha yoga is generally considered the foundation for all yoga practices combining the fundamental concepts of: asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), and meditation. This is a good place to start for beginners or those looking for a slower pace, which allows for relaxation and a focus on one’s well-being.
This could be considered the next step after Hatha. It is primarily focused on breathing and the transition of one pose to another. The term itself often refers to the specific sequence of poses such as:
- Plank Pose
- Upward-Facing Dog
- Downward-Facing Dog
Bikram (Hot Yoga)
Not all Hot Yoga is Bikram but generally, the room is set to 95 to 105 degrees with a specific sequence of poses. This is a much more challenging effort both due to the temperature and the number of poses.
The Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is about harmonizing your body through the connection of breathing, posing, and meditation. A non-stop lifestyle will wear you down both physically and mentally. Caregivers often have an endless amount of tasks to do. So take a few minutes to focus on yourself using Yoga. You may be surprised at how quickly you start to feel calm, relaxed, and re-energized.
Take your time in exploring yoga and find a class near you. If it is your first time, make sure to sign up for the beginner class.