As our population ages, practicing wellness becomes ever more important. Working with seniors has challenged my teaching practice. I’ve learned to slow down and listen not only to their words but also to their bodies. Here are three things I’ve learned from working with seniors – applied here specifically to wellness practices, but applicable in everyday life as well.
1. Start Now.
It’s never too late to begin practicing wellness, but the earlier you start the longer you will reap the benefits. Mobility in the joints, length in the muscles, and strength in the legs and core help not only in your daily life - standing up after sitting in a low chair or stepping in and out of the shower - but also support longevity in playing your favorite sport or keeping up with your kids and grandkids.
2. Be Patient.
Aging affects both the body and mind. Things that came easy at a young age become harder to grasp and retain. Signals from the brain take longer to reach the physical body. Staying with a pose or movement for a few extra breaths allows the body to change, and a small change can bring about big benefits.
3. Be Grateful.
For the body you once had, for the body you have now, and for the body to come in the future. All have their benefits and limitations. Be grateful for all your body does for you. Appreciate the details and work with them to maximize your potential. Some day new limitations will arise and you will need to let the old preconceptions go as new patterns emerge.
- Maggie Ronan