As we age, it's important to schedule in some time to move your body. This is particularly important for people with hearing loss. Time and time again, hearing loss has been linked with increased risk of depression, particularly those ages 18 to 69. Exercise is one way to combat this by raising endorphins, making it the perfect antidote to both the winter blues and the anxiety related to hearing loss. Next time you’re searching for a new challenge to add to your repertoire, consider seeking out a yoga class in your area. Yoga, more than almost any other form of exercise, is an accessible way to both relieve stress and get that body moving!
What Is Yoga?
Yoga itself rose out of ancient Hinduism traditions about 5,000 years ago when exercises were designed to strengthen the body for long periods of meditation. It first reached Western culture in the early 20th century, flooding the mainstream fitness culture in the nineties. Today, it is practiced widely in gyms and yoga studios across the country because it remains an ideal way to strengthen our bodies and increase flexibility.
All Levels Welcome
You may have seen someone’s crazy Cirque du Soleil posture and thought that yoga was only for those born with inherent flexibility. Nothing could be farther from the truth! The less flexible you are, the more beneficial yoga can be. The best thing about yoga is the way almost all of the postures are easily modified to suit each person’s capacity. In fact, a core belief of yoga is that any attempt to mimic a pose reaps the full benefits of that pose or stretch. Wherever you are is where you are supposed to be. How could you not love a discipline that is so affirming?
Do What You Can
The goal of yoga is to settle into a place in which you challenge yourself only as much as you can to increase your strength and mobility for just the length of that class. For some people, that means doing a crazy handstand. For others, it can mean stretching down just another centimeter towards their toes. It can even mean reaching up a bit straighter while seated. Chair yoga is popping up at Senior Centers across the country for those with less mobility to help aid in everyday tasks like tying shoelaces or bending over to pick something up.
Wipe Away That Stress Residue
Folks with hearing loss often experience anxiety as a result of challenging listening scenarios throughout their day. It’s part of living in a world that is designed for those with healthy hearing. As a result, there are often feelings of isolation as this stress may cause people to avoid social situations where human connection happens. Instead of indulging in isolating behaviors, people with hearing loss are encouraged to find outlets to manage and release stress so that our need for human connection doesn’t get ignored.
Most yoga includes matching physical movements with conscious breathing, which means that yoga teachers are often instructing you to take larger inhales and exhales throughout class. This deep breathing is a natural way to reduce and manage stress, leaving you more equipped to deal with your unique life challenges.
Tips For Yoga Class
Yoga classes are usually taught via a mix of both visual and verbal cues. The rare studio is fitted with a hearing loop which will conduct the audio of the room to sync directly with your hearing aids. If this is available in your area, which you can find out with a quick Google search, do check it out!
Studios who’ve considered their students with hearing loss will likely be spaces that have taken other steps to make people with hearing loss more comfortable in the classroom. If it feels right, do disclose your hearing loss to find out what other considerations are available to support your yoga experience.
If hearing assistance isn’t offered, scout out a few teachers to see what works best for you. Checking in with the teacher about your difficulty hearing might result in great one-on-one assistance or other strategies to support your experience in the class. Avoid hot yoga classes if you plan on wearing your hearing aids in class, as the additional humidity is not the best environment for your devices.
Visit Us At Hearing Spa
Yoga is an excellent exercise for people who experience hearing loss, as it helps reduce stress levels and increase energy – something people with untreated hearing loss may experience. There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss. If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, contact our team at Hearing Spa today!