Jan 12th, 2018

According to the Harvard Review, individuals over the age of 60 who maintain a regular yoga practice are much less likely to bear the brunt of various stress responses that are common in human bodies. For example, there are simple breathing techniques that can allow us to feel calm and restful as well as certain postures that assist us in achieving uninterrupted sleep.

When looked at in more detail, we can see that yogic exercises like meditation or pranayama are designed to help clear the neural blockages that can potentially impede the onset of deep sleep.

What causes sleeplessness?

Commonly known as ‘insomnia’, this medical condition essentially refers to the inability of a person to get adequate sleep at night. Studies have shown that insomnia is quite common in adults over the age of 65 and can be developed due to a host of issues such as stress, fatigue and medical ailments such as cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, recent clinical trials have shown that commonly prescribed medicines that are used by many aged people (alfuzosin, doxazosin, prazosin, silodosin) contain active ingredients that can disrupt their sleeping habits.

What does insomnia do?

When folks over 60 suffer from insomnia for extended periods, the consequences can be far reaching and can go beyond a simple loss of energy and daytime drowsiness. For example, chronic insomnia has been shown to cause high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and other circulatory and digestive ailments.

Why is yoga important in this regard?

Yes. In the past couple of decades, many researchers have established a direct link between yoga and anxiety. Studies have shown that certain asanas and yogic postures allow for the release of stress and fatigue from within our core muscle groups. This can help us feel more relaxed and thereby attain a good night’s sleep more easily. Readers will also be interested to know that regular yoga can help resolve challenging issues such as ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ and ‘mental fogginess’ (two problems that are quite common in men and women over the age of 60).

What other options do I have?

Apart from daily physical exercise (yoga etc) and dietary supplements, there are also a wide array of traditional remedies that have been used by cultures around the globe to release anxiety and tension. These recipes are simple, yet effective. For example, potato water has been shown to help people get rid of dullness, stress and fatigue. It does so by supplying key minerals like potassium and iron to our metabolic centre, thereby improving our overall vitality.

Start your journey today

Anxiety and stress can be very challenging issues, especially as we become older and lose some of our natural energy. Therefore, we should look to slowly start by incorporating some basic yoga exercises into our daily schedule. Then we can move on to complementing this regime with supplement intake and other modes of fitness.

Asana Journal

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