Yoga is a great way to stay fit and healthy at any age. But for seniors, it can provide even greater benefits! At the very least yoga improves flexibility, balance, and mental health– making it an ideal exercise choice for older adults, from memory care residents to new retirees. Admittedly, yoga can be strenuous, but there are plenty of poses that seniors can safely and comfortably complete.
Here are some yoga poses that even seniors can try out.
This seated pose involves standing with your feet together and your arms raised overhead, palms facing each other. You then start to fold forward at the hips until your buttocks are in line with your ankles. Keep your back straight and press your shoulder blades down.
The chair pose helps to strengthen the legs, open the chest, and improve balance. It is also a great way to increase circulation in the body.
Downward Facing Pose
Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists beneath your shoulders and likewise with your knees and your hips. Then, straighten out your arms and legs as you lift the buttocks towards the ceiling to form an upside-down shape. Keep your feet hip-width apart and press firmly into the floor.
Downward facing dog helps to strengthen and stretch the entire body. It also increases circulation, improves digestion, and reduces stress levels.
Forward Bend Pose
Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Inhale and raise your arms out to the side, then exhale as you bend from the hips and fold forward until your hands reach the floor (or a block). Keep your back straight and make sure that your knees remain slightly bent.
The forward bend increases flexibility in the spine stretches out tight hamstrings and calms the mind. It is also great for improving digestion and relieving tension in the neck and shoulders.
Begin by lying on your stomach with your legs behind you and your hands flat down beside your chest. Then, take a deep breath in and gently start to lift your head and chest off the ground. Keep your elbows close to your sides and make sure that your pelvis remains on the ground.
The cobra pose helps to stretch out the abdominal muscles and release tension in the spine. It also improves posture and strengthens the core.
Begin by standing with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Then, slowly lift one foot and place it on the inside of your opposite thigh or calf. Once you feel stable, press your palms together in front of your chest.
The tree pose helps to improve balance and strengthen the legs. It is also great for increasing flexibility in the hips and reducing stress levels.
Yoga is an ancient healing practice and these yoga poses are great for seniors to try out. Even though some poses may seem challenging, remember to take it slow and practice with patience. With a little bit of practice and dedication, you will be able to reap the benefits of yoga.