ORLANDO, Fla. – Falls aren’t just the leading cause of injury in adults 65 and older -- but in almost all age groups. An estimated 684 thousand fatal falls occur each year, making it the second leading cause of unintentional death, after road traffic injuries. A range of interventions exists to prevent falls, one of them -- yoga.
“When you’re doing poses that even just slight movements that cross over the midline, then you’re improving your balance.” Says Angie Winn, Owner & Yoga instructor at Loft on Main
We asked yoga instructor Angie Winn for her top five yoga tips to help improve balance.
She says, “Tip number one would be just to know your whole body is in charge of balance. Tip number two, your feet should really be like roots of a tree. So, the more you can spread your toes out, the more you can use the entire space of your foot, then the stronger you can be in your posture and the more balanced you will be.”
University of Miami researchers found the more activated the toes are in standing poses, the greater the lower leg muscle activity, therefore, targeting primary balance muscles.
“Tip number three, when we are stressed, our shoulders tend to go forward. If our shoulders are back and down away from our ears, then that automatically lengthens our spine and makes our spine neutral. The fourth tip is Focus, and in yoga we call it Drishti, and it’s really focusing your gaze on a point in front of you. And fifth is Breath. I always say that if you just do stretches without breath, you’re not really doing yoga.” Winn explains.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week. By incorporating yoga poses to meet your weekly exercise target, you’ll not only be increasing your fitness level and life span but reducing your risk of injury from falling.