A long life on Earth subjects our bodies to the force of gravity and the tendency for our tissues to calcify as time goes on. The ways in which these natural phenomena act upon old injuries can cause pain and discomfort in an aging body.
Old Injuries can flare up now and then
Perhaps the agility of youth once inspired some daring maneuvers from which we wiped out. But were fortunate to have gotten back up and moved on. Years later, those old injuries may come back to remind us that they are still there, deep in our structure. Usually, if the injury happened in a joint or bone, osteoarthritis may have set in. Also, if our healing efforts at the time weren’t sufficient, the old, injured area might flare up now and then.
While injuries do require that we rest, it’s easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle. Then we will prevent healthy circulation from doing its healing work on our bodily tissues. With time, the injured, inflamed area may begin to calcify. Consequently, this may restrict our range of movement and further impede blood flow.
Injuries can benefit from Yoga!
From former athletes, to first responders, veterans, and people who have suffered accidents of all kinds, I feel for anyone who carries a reminder of a past injury in their body. Because I am in this group as well, I practice Yoga.
While different people benefit from Yoga in many different ways, there are two aspects that make Yoga a helpful way to manage chronic injuries. First, it boosts circulation throughout the body and second, it reduces stress. Furthermore, it can help improve our range of motion, or simply help us feel more at ease in the range of motion that’s currently available to us.
When a fender-bender caused an old whiplash injury to flare up, here’s how I relieved my neck pain:
What I learned about Whiplash Recovery with Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT
Twenty years ago, I got whiplash which changed the structure of my neck. For that reason, I’ve worked hard to keep my neck mobile and elongated in order to avoid cervical disc compression. Thanks to my dedication to Yoga, I have no pain or nerve issues. However, when I re-injured my neck, I realized there was one thing I forgot to add into my Yoga self-care plan! I learned to incorporate neck strengthening movements in addition to my stretching movements.
If you have neck instability, misalignment or trouble moving your neck, try these movements for increased mobility and strength.
Now I know that healing from injuries takes time and dedicated effort. As my fellow Yoga Teacher, Justine Shelton, says: “We may never heal 100%, but we can always be moving in the direction of positive change.”
May taking our time to feel, understand, nurture and strengthen our bodies enable us all to thrive and age wisely!
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Online Workshops related to this Topic:
Online Workshop: Foundations of Yoga for Seniors and the Anatomy of Aging
The vast majority of Americans are growing into their senior and golden years. In other words, they are beginning to experience the physical effects of aging. In this Workshop, Sherry Zak Morris, C-IAYT and E-RYT, will teach you about the aging body and how Yoga can help! Furthermore, Sherry will describe the issues facing this student community. Lastly, she will give you the tools and confidence necessary to teach to this demographic.
CREDITS: Author, Sherry Zak Morris, Certified Yoga Therapist
Co-Author, Susana Jones, Certified Yoga Therapist
Editor, Maria Perez, Certified Yoga & Group Fitness Instructor