Most elderly people will think that yoga is only suitable for young people or people with good flexibility. But in fact, yoga is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The latest research shows that yoga is especially helpful for people over the age of 60, improving their flexibility and balance.
If you are new to yoga, it is not easy at first. But this should not prevent you from participating in yoga practice, because of the many benefits of yoga:
8 benefits of yoga for the elderly
01 Dredge the meridians and strengthen the viscera
Through breathing, stretching and asanas, the meridians of the human body can be dredged and the functions of the internal organs can be strengthened. Restore energy and spirit to achieve all-round health preservation and health care.
02 Relieve muscle stress
As we age, muscle mass deteriorates. The beauty of yoga is that even an ordinary hatha yoga practice can relieve the practitioner’s muscle stress and enhance muscle toughness. Downward Dog Pose, Plank Pose, Warrior 1 Pose, and Warrior 2 Pose are all poses that are especially suitable for yoga beginners, and they are very effective in improving the strength of practitioners.
03 Enhance flexibility
With the passage of time and the reduction of activities, the muscles of the elderly lose some elasticity, and even some elderly people have difficulty bending over and kneeling to tie shoelaces in daily life.
For these elderly people with poor flexibility, it is recommended to try to sit and bend forward. For those who find it difficult, they can stretch their shoulders and hamstrings with the help of yoga straps; cat pose or wheel pose can also flex the spine; sprint pose can open hip flexion muscles; side bend mountain pose can stretch the muscles along the trunk.
04 Pain relief
Studies have shown that yoga is effective in treating certain types of chronic pain, including pain and stiffness from arthritis and repetitive stress syndrome. Much gentler than some weight-bearing exercises that put undue stress on joints, yoga helps reduce muscle tension throughout the body.
Both Cobra Pose and Baby’s Pose can help relieve pain; Bound Angle Pose can help with hip pain. Standing forward bends help increase spinal flexibility and reduce lumbar pain in a targeted manner.
05 Improve balance ability
Loss of balance is common in people over 65 years of age. It is from this that the elderly are prone to falling. As we all know, the physical function of the elderly declines, and a fall may be life-threatening. Practicing balancing poses in yoga can help older adults strengthen their bones and keep their bodies stable while walking and standing.
Depending on individual circumstances, yoga tree pose, side plank pose, and half moon pose can all better help the elderly improve their balance. For those who want to challenge their balance on one leg, leaning on a wall or a prop is a great way to do it.
06 Strong Bones
Osteoporosis is one of the biggest health problems of the elderly. Studies have found that yoga can improve bone density in patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Yoga uses opposing muscle groups and gravity to stress the bones to promote the production of bone-growing cells. Yoga triangle pose, warrior 1 pose, warrior 2 pose and plank pose can all highlight the antagonistic muscle groups.
07 Improve concentration and focus
As we age, the brain changes with it. This means that concentration and memory will decline in most older adults. Yoga like pranayama and meditation stimulate the brain and nervous system, improving concentration and memory.
Pranayama, through focused breathing, keeps the mind clear and relaxes the nerves. Meditation can also help you maintain peace of mind. As the meditation time increases, it will help practitioners get rid of their predicament and gain inner peace.
08 Increase positive emotions
Some elderly people feel lonely. Joining yoga classes can broaden the social circle of the elderly and make more friends. In addition, yoga is a recognized “mood booster”. Opening yoga poses and back bending poses like cobra pose, boat pose, and bridge pose have been shown to increase positive emotions in patients with depression. Practicing yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation can all help improve your mood, bring more positive energy, and reduce anxiety.
The full range of healing and transformative power of yoga is applicable to all ages.
If you search around the internet these days, everyone seems to have an expert opinion on martial arts. Many eastern styles have suffered under the barrage of blows from keyboard warriors. The general comments range from ‘this so-and-so style does not work on the street’ to terms like ‘mcdojo’ are quite rampant. Even martial arts practitioners themselves make it a point to chime in and ‘call-out’ other martial arts practitioners. I wonder if it is done in the name of social justice or something more selfish.
Taekwondo or Tae Kwon Do : A Look Behind the Martial Art
Taekwondo, the Korean national martial art is also a world-famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) sport and martial art. In the aftermath of the second world war, the nation of Korea was rebuilding much of the country including cultural heritage lost as a result of foreign occupation. Part of this cultural heritage being recovered was in the area of their fighting arts.
To cut the long story short, the different martial arts masters contributed to form a national organisation and call their art Tae Kwon Do. Since 1959, the martial art known as Taekwondo has split into different organisations. The two largests are known as World Taekwondo (or formerly the World Taekwondo Federation or WTF) and the International Taekwondo Federation (or ITF).
As a practitioner, I have to admit that there is an overwhelming influence of Karate in the art of Taekwondo. Even historical evidence shows that many founding masters of Taekwondo were practitioners or Japanese Karate. With the suppression of Korean martial arts during WW2, it is not expected that much of the old indigenous Korean arts survived to heavily influence Taekwondo.
Martial means Combat
Culturally, the popular belief of martial arts have been helped by television and film. Famous movies and martial arts stars have helped popularise the fighting arts. Bruce Lee is perhaps the most famous. Chuck Norris, JCVD, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yet to name a few. The mystical nature of Japanese arts and their bushido warrior code also became popular as samurai movies became well known. Ultimately, the systemised fighting arts were for one purpose:- combat.
Modern Martial Arts. Combat Sports.
I for one am fortunate to live in a country that is in peace, not at war with anyone. Relatively, many are in this situation. The need for extremely violent forms of martial arts practice is low for the average civilian. Military personnel who are going to frontlines may prepare differently.
So where does this leave the martial arts. Well, we have seen their revival and evolution to what is known as Combat Sports. Taekwondo is one of the many arts that have evolved. In my opinion, Taekwondo has evolved the most (for better or worse, depending on who you ask again…) in the direction that utilises technology, and also in the most peaceful direction. Just looking at the sport of Taekwondo as developed by Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo organisation as practiced in the Olympics, we can see this evolution to a non-violent form of sport that has drawn combat elements from the past.
Many old timers may lament that this make Taekwondo useless on the street, and MMA (another new evolution). But speaking of the street, are you seriously thinking of picking a fight on the street like a young punk? If it’s peacetime, there is no need to go look for trouble. As a practitioner, my opinion is a bit more in the middle ground. While I appreciate the developments made by the KTA/Kukkiwon/WT trio, the combat parts of the once deadly form have been stripped from Taekwondo.
Sport Taekwondo is here to stay and continue to evolve. I applaud the efforts of Kukkiwon/KTA/WT in this direction. I believe that this is good for peace. I’m certainly not a fan of war. However, we do need some training in effective combat ability. That said, I believe in the balanced practice of the art.
Humbly, the art we know as Taekwondo is heavily based on kicking. So we do need to look into the past, the history and roots of what formed Taekwondo. The immediate ancestor to check out is Karate, and Okinawan Karate. Further back would be chinese Kung Fu (Tang Soo Do’s ancestor, also a contributor to the art of Taekwondo). As a martial artist, one must be humble enough to recognise ones own weaknesses and seek to improve. If anything can be learnt from the late Bruce Lee, it is to ‘Absorb what is useful; Disregard that which is useless’. (I have to admit that this line can be interpreted differently by different people, depending on ones end goal).
Balance of Combat Effectiveness and Safety
In my opinion, we need to practice effective combat techniques that will work when we need them. So, there is a some degree of violence associated with combat training. While the actions are inherently violent, we need to establish a peaceful intention in our mind while practicing. Otherwise, we may fall to the dark side, and thirst for violence.
Our mission is Personal Safety – not blatantly beating the life out of others.
The 3rd Full Movement Control Order is now in force. Our classes has since moved back to the Distance Learning mode. While we understand that online classes do not fully accomplish what the studio-based session are capable of, we strive to make the best of this medium. The structure of the Distance Learning Programme is as follows:
Objective: Movement and physical activity. In general, younger children need to workout and use up their energy. Correct and accurate movement that is specific to martial arts will become less important for the virtual classes. So, in the 1 hour of class, I will bring the students through a series of movements, execution of taekwondo techniques that are dynamic and generally more fun. The idea is to keep them engaged and moving their bodies.
Follow up 1-to-1 sessions
Objective: Focus on building their correct and accurate martial art specific movement and techniques I will schedule personal 1-to-1 sessions or even small groups of 2 via Zoom to spend some time to achieve this.
NOTE: The Follow up 1-to-1 sessions are only for students undergoing the DLP. This is a tutorial based learning session that is meant to help bridge the insufficiencies of the online medium to some degree. Fully studio-based learning will not require this.
While it is my responsibility to impart martial arts skills and knowledge to all my students, with the support of parents of young children, it can be much more effective. 1 hour of physical class, followed by 15 -20 minutes of personalised attention per week can be supplemented by your assistance and support.
Some suggestions for parental support:-
Ask your child to show you what techniques they have learnt
Holding a pad out for them to strike/block
participate in physical activity during the virtual sessions
Once again, I would like to offer my gratitude for your continued support to your children’s growth, and also to my martial arts centre.
The upgrading for Taekwondo students at Activkix Martial Arts is confirmed to be held on Sunday 25th April 2021.
As per the previous grading, we will be holding it in Activkix Martial Arts, 15-3, Jalan Sri Hartamas 7, Taman Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur. All participants, parents and guardians are advised to follow the SOPs set by the Government of Malaysia for this event.
Please arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of your time slot to prepare for your turn.
It is the holy month of Ramadhan, and as such arrangements have been made for Muslim students undergoing the grading to be arranged to attend at the earliest available slots.
Grading fees remain as RM60 per student. Kindly return the filled grading form, along with payment by email or Whatsapp. email@example.com // +6012 2060 126
Payment: Activkix Martial Arts Public Bank 3214951018
The tentative schedule for upgrading can be found here in this link:
With the latest announcement on the CMCO to be imposed in Selangor, Putrajaya, KL and Sabah, Activkix Martial Arts will be suspending face to face classes effective Tuesday 13th October 2020 until 27 October 2020.
Classes will move to online form at the same time for your children to continue their training. We will be using Zoom for these classes. Kindly let me know if you are able to join or not.
Note: All SOPs have been in place since the beginning of the RMCO and none of the practices have changed. We hope to flatten the curve and continue our training which is beneficial in improving fitness and health. Take care and stay safe.