Yoga is an excellent way to connect the mind and body by utilizing several breathing exercises, meditation, and the variety of poses available.
Yoga practice can benefit your parents and grandparents just as much as younger people. Being a low-impact exercise, there are senior yoga poses that suit older persons perfectly.
The benefits of yoga are numerous, including increased focus and concentration, improved balance, flexibility and mobility, and better sleep. Read more to know the gains of practicing yoga for older adults.
Seasons Retirement understands how helpful yoga can be to older adults and, for this reason, encourages its residents to stay active by offering practice classes with a dedicated training space.
This article explores five easy yoga poses for older adults.
1. Mountain pose
Also known as the Tadasana, this pose strengthens and stretches the arches of the legs, ankles, and feet. Also, it helps reduce back pain and improve general body posture. Since it is a low-impact adult yoga pose, it is perfect for older persons to start with.
How to practice the mountain pose
● Stand erect with the feet widely separated and aligned with the hips.
● Press both toes to the floor and evenly distribute your weight into both feet.
● Keep your arms at your sides with your palms facing outward.
● Lift your chest, roll up your shoulders and bring them back and down.
● With your head aligned over your chest and your chest over your hips, squeeze the muscles in your thighs.
● When balanced in the position above, take about five to ten deep breaths.
● Lengthen your spine towards the direction of the sky with each inhale, and relax your shoulders away from the ears with each exhale.
It is best to do this pose close to a wall to prevent falls.
2. Bridge pose
Called Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, this technique is known as the bridge pose because it involves using your limbs to create what looks like a bridge. For this pose, it will be helpful to make a mental image of a bridge over quiet flowing water.
The bridge pose is among the earliest back-bending easy yoga techniques for beginners. It helps open up the chest, massage the spine and strengthen the hips and legs. It may be effective in relieving back pain and correcting poor spine curvature.
Apart from the physical benefits, it also has a calming and energizing effect on the mind and body.
How to do the bridge pose
● Spread a soft mat on the floor and lie on your back.
● Bend your knees and keep both feet and legs parallel to align with your hips.
● Move both feet towards your buttocks and put some pressure on the feet by pressing down firmly.
● Take a deep breath and raise your hips from the pubic bone.
● Clasp both hands behind your back, broaden your collarbones and get on top of your shoulders.
● Roll your upper thighs inwards, press firmly on both heels, and lift the posterior ends of your buttocks and thighs high while maintaining the parallel alignment of the thighs.
● To conclude, breathe out, release your hands, lower to the floor, and allow your back to rest.
For beginners, placing a block between your knees and holding firmly as you lift and lower your hips will help to activate your inner thighs and buttocks.
3. Modified dancer pose
Dancing helps one attain a calm state of mind, which is what the modified dancer pose aims to achieve as well. It is another easy yoga pose for older adults to practice.
It strengthens the core, flexor muscles, upper back, hips, and lower body. Additionally, it helps to improve awareness, balance, and posture while boosting energy and confidence.
How to do the modified dancer pose
● Begin by standing tall as practiced in the mountain pose, with the weight distributed evenly on both feet.
● Bend your right knee and lift your already-flexed foot behind you. Not flexing the foot tends to cause cramps in the back of the thigh.
● Lift your left arm by the side of your face and maintain your right arm on your hips.
● Take a few deep breaths in this position and repeat the same on the alternate side.
If you have difficulty maintaining balance, stay close to a wall or hold onto a chair.
4. Tree pose (Vriksasana)
The tree pose is among the yoga for elderly poses that significantly helps achieve balance and build body strength. It strengthens the core, hip, and leg muscles.
How to do the tree pose
● Choose a point to focus your eyes on and maintain a steady gaze to help you attain balance.
● Position your hands on your hips and keep your feet apart to align with the hips.
● Lift your chest, roll up your shoulders, and pull them back and down.
● Rest on your left foot and slowly bend your right knee to enable your right foot to rest on your ankle without putting any pressure on it.
● Adjust your hips to keep them aligned.
● When balanced, move both hands above your head or in front of your chest.
● Take a few deep breaths and repeat the same on the opposite side.
Placing your back against a wall while doing this pose will give you additional support if needed.
5. Standing knee to chest pose
This easy yoga pose helps strengthen the core, hips, and legs.
How to do the standing knee to chest pose
● Stand erect as you would in a mountain pose.
● Lift your left knee to attain a height at hip level, and bend it.
● Now, flex your left foot and rest on your right leg.
● Maintain this position while taking deep breaths. After several breaths, repeat on the opposite side.
To make this pose easier for beginners, try sitting tall in a chair while keeping both feet on the floor.
Contrary to popular opinion, yoga is a relaxing exercise that older adults can practice comfortably. This article highlights easy yoga poses that your parents and grandparents can begin with on their yoga journey.
Note that it is essential for your older loved ones to seek advice from their physicians before beginning their yoga routine.