Yoga for Seniors: 7 Poses You Can Do Effortlessly
“Age is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan
Age is only a number, not a deterrent to staying healthy and fit. Yes, nutrition is vital, but staying active is also one of the most essential things an older adult can do for their health. That’s why even senior citizens should keep moving and involving themselves in some form of physical activity- like yoga.
Yoga Exercise For Seniors: How Does it Help You Stay Fitter As You Age?
If you think that yoga is only for the young, fit, and flexible people who can contort their bodies into unthinkable postures, think again. Yoga is for everyone and doesn’t always have to be extreme.
Yoga is one of the most versatile, safe, low-impact exercises with exceptional health benefits for anyone who practices it consistently. Furthermore, it does not require any fancy equipment or exclusively-designated spaces. You can practically do it anywhere, at any time.
For seniors, yoga is the best choice because of it:
- Is modifiable to suit age-related issues like arthritis and limited mobility.
- Helps reduce high blood pressure.
- Improves lung capacity and function.
- Helps mitigate depression, anxiety, and dementia.
- Induces good appetite and sleep.
Despite so many benefits, many seniors hesitate to practice yoga, thinking it is highly complex and requires extraordinary flexibility. Our blog gives step-by-step demonstrations for yoga postures especially recommended for seniors. You can practice these postures every day to witness the remarkable changes in your body.
A Step-By-Step Guide on Yoga Exercise For Seniors
1. The mountain pose
This pose is exactly what the name suggests. You align your body, head over heart, heart over hips, and hips over ankles to resemble a mountain. Here’s how you do it:
- Stand with feet steadily placed a few feet apart.
- Lift your toes and spread them down on the mat to distribute your weight evenly across your feet.
- Lift your chest towards the ceiling without pushing your ribs outward.
- Engage your legs and draw your belly button in to engage your core.
- Draw the shoulder blades towards each other to engage your back.
- Keep your arms by your torso with the palms facing inward or outward.
- Maintain a straight line between your chin and the floor while balancing over your center.
Repeat twice or thrice.
As you can see, the mountain posture is simple but engages every part of your body. This posture allows you to:
- Concentrate on your breathing technique.
- Improve your posture, making you stand tall and steady.
It also helps relieve back pain, enabling better body alignment and strengthening your legs.
2. Legs up the wall
This posture, again, is one of the most approachable poses as it does not require any flexibility or strength. Despite the fact that it does not involve much movement, the benefits of this pose are pretty amazing. To get to your “legs up the wall,” you should:
- Position yourself comfortably on the floor perpendicular to a wall.
- Move your hips as close to the wall as possible.
- Lift your legs and “walk” them up the wall until your body is in an “L” position.
- Allow your arms to lie by your sides.
- Breathe deeply and hold the pose for a few minutes.
- Slowly lower your legs from the wall.
Leg up-the-wall posture is a great way to resume your active routine because it helps relieve all that pent-up tension in your body. The other benefits include:
- Better blood circulation
- Easy drainage of fluid from swollen feet
- Relieves muscle cramps and abdominal discomfort
- Eases headaches and migraines
- Facilitates easy digestion
- Improves sleep
3. The tree pose
The tree pose is a continuation of the mountain pose. This simple posture engages the whole body and strengthens the abdominal and leg muscles. Practicing the tree pose will improve hip mobility in seniors with tight hips.
To get into the tree pose:
- Stand on your yoga mat with your legs together and arms by your side.
- Slowly raise your arms above your head and press the palms together.
- Plant your toes firmly on the ground and bend your right knee slowly.
- Raise the right heel and turn it to touch the inside of your left ankle.
- Hold your balance.
- Repeat the same with your left leg.
It is alright if you cannot hold your pose for over a few seconds. With continuous practice, you can hold this pose for longer. In due course, you can work towards bending your leg and resting it above the knee of the supporting leg.
4. The chair pose
The chair pose, like the mountain pose, is just what its name suggests. This posture strengthens your lower joints and muscles. Here are the steps to do the chair pose:
- Begin with the mountain pose Inhale slowly and extend your arms above your head with palms facing each other.
- Hold the pose and slowly bend your knees to a sitting position. Exhale as you do so.
- Sit deeply as you can and hold the pose without falling over.
- Keep your core engaged and keep your upper body tall and steady.
- Hold this chair pose for five to ten breath counts.
The chair pose blesses the body with many benefits. It:
- Strengthens the hips, thighs, and calf muscles.
- Improves your stamina and physical endurance
- Regulates circulation and metabolism.
5. The cat-cow pose
The cat-cow pose helps relieve back pain, increases spinal flexibility, and warms the body before a workout.
- Kneel on your mat, lean forward, and place your palms under your shoulders.
- Ensure your knees are under your hips.
- Move your shins and knees to align with your hip width.
- Center your head and look downwards.
- Now inhale as you drop your stomach towards the mat. This is the cow pose.
- Holding this pose, lift your chin and gaze upwards.
- Now, to assume the cat pose, exhale, draw your belly to your spine, and round your back towards the ceiling. ( This pose should look like a cat is stretching his back.)
- Take a deep breath, move slowly back into cow pose, and then exhale as you return to cat pose.
The cat-cow pose opens the chest and expands your lung capacity. It also contributes to better body posture and balance.
5. The boat pose
Even if you are a senior citizen, it is good to have a strong core. The boat pose is one of the most effective yoga postures that help to strengthen and tone the core muscles with minimum effort.
To begin the boat pose:
- Begin by sitting on the mat with your back straight.
- Bend your knees.
- Lean back slightly, roll your shoulders, and shift your body weight to your tailbone.
- Use both your hands to grip the backs of the knees for support.
- Inhale and lift one leg after the other and balance yourself on your bottom.
- Holding this posture, release one hand after the other so that your palms are beside your knees.
- Hold the posture for five to ten breaths.
- Release and repeat after a couple of minutes.
6. Child’s pose
The child’s pose is the best yoga asana to relax your body and rest during a workout routine. This position stretches the thighs, ankles, and hips and completely relaxes the mind and body.
To get into the perfect child’s pose:
- Kneel on the floor. Keep your knees at hip width and keep your toes together.
- Rest your palm on your thighs, exhale, and lower your upper body between your knees.
- With your palms facing down, extend your arms alongside your torso.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and rest in this pose for as long as possible.
The child’s pose helps relieve constipation by aiding digestion. It is a complete relaxation technique for the spine, calf muscles, ankles, head, and neck.
You can try the above poses to gain fantastic benefits. If you experience any pain or discomfort, please do not force yourself. You should know your limits with yoga or any new workout and adjust yourself accordingly. You can also consider attending yoga classes to gain professional guidance.
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Our app offers expert-recommended yoga exercises for seniors to enjoy a fitter lifestyle, improve balance, and move around effortlessly. Check out the routine we have crafted for you to stay fit regardless of age.