Maintaining mental sharpness with chair based yoga
When I was little my grandmother (yiayia) and grandfather (pappous) were looking after me for the majority of the time.
They were active, so we would go to so many places!!
I guess in Greece the weather is not this dominant, but good sunny days really enhanced the fun we had.
Used to drive to Stavros at the foot of the Halkidiki peninsula to sit at the beach, or to Edesa to see the waterfalls and all around the island of Thassos in the summer (on a motorbike).
My favourite outing though was in October to Evros, when we would go to the river delta and watch pink flamingos temporarily nest there.
As they both grew older these activities stopped. My grandfather’s health, diabetic, over time degraded significantly. He suffered and died of dementia (yiayia is still well).
Their degrading health kept them in one place.
My uncle, aunty and my mum took over looking after them, the vegetable garden, or doing the driving and of course I grew up and moved away… it was sad though to see them lose all the things that brought them joy.
I am unsure why I am telling you this story, other than to potentially conclude and say that maintaining good health in later life is vital:
Good health is later life means:
– Looking after oneself.
– remaining socially active and avoiding isolation
– good mental health and acuity.
Yoga can of course help, not just because of the innate gentleness of the practice; it does not suddenly become easier, as a matter of fact it goes deeper and the focus shifts.
The primary goal of the practice then becomes to maintain functional mobility and flexibility; the kind that allows older adults to continue living their lives: reaching for things overhead, tying up laces (theirs and grandchildren’s).
The acuity of the mind also becomes primary: memory, focus, sensory, proprioception all sadly degrade over time and may affect physical wellbeing also, like balance and coordination.
Chair based yoga in particular can truly help; help with functioning and moving better.
Chair yoga becomes this amazing opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of the students we teach.
What we practice in 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝗴𝗮 classes goes way beyond asana, developing connections, improving physical and mental wellbeing, helping people achieve way beyond what they initially thought was possible!!