For millions of us women over 60, nothing is as frightening as the thought of falling. The risk of losing our independence to a serious fall has led many of us to reduce or abandon activities we once loved.

But what if “safe, but boring” doesn’t fit your picture of enjoyable sunset years? Then it’s time vanquish your fear of falling! And that’s exactly what the seventh entry in Sixty and Me’s Gentle Yoga for Seniors video series is here to do.

In this 28-minute video, your instructor Cat Kabira will guide you in rediscovering your sense of physical balance. But you’ll be doing much more than reawakening the nerves and muscle fibers that keep you upright. Keep reading to learn more!

Gentle Yoga for Seniors: Emotional Balance

Cat has planned this workout not only to restore your physical balance, but to rebalance your mind and emotions as well. She begins the transformation with a few minutes of deep breathing. The goal?

To stabilize, relax and center you. It’s a breathing technique she recommends using whenever you’re facing (or trying to recover from) a difficult situation. Concentrating on long, deep breaths can help you stay emotionally balanced even when the entire world seems to be shifting beneath your feet!

Balancing Your Body: Focus First

Cat explains in her introductory video that improving your physical balance requires strengthening your Drishti (yoga lingo for gaze or focus). It’s training your mind to believe that — no matter how shaky your start — success is inevitable.

And her advice on regaining your balance?

If you keep your focus steady, if you visualize yourself successful allow yourself to fall and make a mistake, that’s probably the most important part… And if you fall, no big deal… what really helps with balance is keeping the mind focused and centered.”

She continues, “I’m always amazed by how much of yoga practice is about the mind and attitude… a willingness to experiment, a willingness to fall, a willingness to realize that it’s never about getting it right.”

Yoga for Older Adults: A Willingness to Fall?  

Yes, you read that right! The idea of falling may sound scary now, but if you’re over 60 the chances are you played Ring-around-the-Rosie as a child. The whole point was to fall down, simply for the fun of it!

Of course, controlled, intentional falling is entirely different from falling because you’ve lost your balance. But Cat emphasizes throughout the entire Gentle Yoga for Seniors series that if you need it, the support of a wall, chair or couch is perfectly fine.

After all, how many children would ever learn to balance on a bicycle without using training wheels? And how is using props in your effort to restore your balance as an older adult any different?

As Cat expressed so well:

“ … I think one thing that happens is we get older, as we become grown up, as we age, is that we feel like we’ve been here long enough where we somehow have to have it together.”

So, if during the workout you realize you don’t have it together and are about to fall, just reach for your “training wheels.” The important thing is to keep visualizing a time when you’ll have the confidence to complete the poses without them!

Are you a senior concerned about falling due to failing balance? What are your thoughts on using yoga to restore or maintain your physical and/or emotional balance? If you’ve already tried it, what were your results?

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