You’ve probably seen the airplane safety video with the oxygen masks – you have to put on your own mask before you can help someone else with theirs. It’s important for you to breathe. For me, as a caregiver, yoga is my version of putting my own oxygen mask on first.
I started practicing yoga fairly regularly about two years ago. When I’m on my yoga mat, it’s MY time. It’s something that I am doing for ME.
When you spend most of your time thinking about what other people need, it feels good to be a little selfish for an hour, and ultimately, everyone in your life is going to benefit from you taking that chunk of time for yourself.
I personally love taking hot yoga classes because I love to sweat and I love the deep stretch that the heat allows. The list benefits from doing yoga is very long, but here are a few big positives off the top of my head:
- Increased flexibility
- Improved respiration
- Increased energy
- Cardio and circulatory health
- Improved muscle tone and strength
- Increased positivity
I understand that it can be very difficult for a lot of us to get out of the house and down to a yoga studio for a few hours when being a caregiver, though (not to mention the cost!). The good news is that you can practice yoga at home on your own schedule! Even if you don’t have an hour, there are some great 15 or 30 minute classes you can find online for free (Just search ‘easy yoga’ on YouTube). If you take a few minutes every day to stretch and breathe, I promise you will see and feel a difference in yourself. Depending on where your loved one is along their journey, you could even have them join in with you!
On our last big family vacation with my dad in Hawaii, we had a yoga instructor come to our rental house to teach a group class for the family. I was happy and surprised that dad wanted to join in. It brought so much joy to all of us to be doing something together and seeing dad trying the poses and laughing at himself when he looked a little silly. I will always cherish that memory we all have together.
Home Yoga Resources:
Here’s a great 10 minute routine for beginners. It focuses on stretching and getting your body moving. It should be a very relaxing and rewarding ten minutes.
Link: My Free Yoga
This is another great website for free yoga classes at home.
Link: Do Yoga With Me
And don’t forget that there are many great iPhone yoga apps that you can fire up any time you have a free minute. You can start and stop them at your own pace and do them just about anywhere.
Link: Daily Yoga
Link: Pocket Yoga