Our parents and grandparents need to maintain great health, which is an important key to enjoying life as they age gracefully. Habits like eating healthy, staying hydrated, and exercising contribute to a healthy life.
Intense exercising might seem too exerting for your older loved ones, and that is why there is the option of yoga for elderly persons to help them keep fit physically and psychologically without stressing.
Yoga is an excellent form of exercise that doesn’t only engage the physical but also the psychological and emotional parts of your being. It is a peaceful way of working out by creating a strong connection between your mind and body.
Seasons Retirement organizes yoga classes for their residents to improve their overall well-being, ensuring they lead healthy, happy, and fun-filled lifestyles. Read more about the health benefits of yoga.
Now, there are several easy yoga poses that your older relatives can engage in as beginners. Let’s take a look.
Senior Yoga Poses For Beginners
1. Mountain Pose
This is a good starting point for older adults who are new to yoga. It is a low-impact pose that improves their posture and helps to reduce aching in their back.
The mountain pose creates an excellent connection between the mind and the body and assists in controlling the rate of breathing.
Here’s how it’s done:
● Stand straight with your feet parallel and hip-width apart, keeping your arms by your side.
● Balance your weight on your feet and firmly press your toes to the floor.
● Tighten your thigh muscles and the muscles in your legs.
● Position your head over your heart, then try to align your heart over your hips and your hips over your ankles.
● Take in deep breaths and with each inhale, lengthen your spine and try to stretch your neck, so the crown of your head is reaching for the sky.
● As you exhale, relax your shoulders away from your ear, and let your fingertips point downward toward the ground.
● Repeat this process for 5 to 10 more breaths.
2. Tree Pose
This is another standing yoga pose that can easily be implemented in adult yoga. This simple pose works on your body’s overall balance and strength development.
Follow the steps below to carry out the tree pose successfully:
● Stand straight with your feet together and your hands clasped together at your chest.
● Pick a point at eye level to focus on and hold your gaze steady to assist your balance.
● Gently lift your left foot off the floor, bending it slightly at the knee and placing your feet on the inside of your right leg at the ankle, shin, or above the knee. Avoid resting it directly on the knee.
● If you find it difficult to balance on one leg, you can put your left foot down so that your heel is resting on your ankle and the ball of your foot is on the floor for balance.
● You can also hold onto a wall or a piece of furniture for support.
● Once you feel balanced, lift your arms above your head with your fingertips pointing skyward.
● Remain in this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat the process for your right leg.
3. Modified Dancer Pose
This pose has a resemblance to the arabesque position in ballet. It strengthens and stretches the abs, legs, ankles, shoulders, chest, and thighs. It also helps to improve flexibility, lung capacity, and lower spine strength.
To practice this pose, follow these steps:
● From a mountain pose, flex your right foot and bend your right leg at the knee behind you.
● Lift your left arm to the side of your face and keep your right arm behind you.
● Hold this position and take several breaths.
● Repeat this action on your other side.
● You can hold onto a chair with your hand behind you for added support to maintain your balance.
● To increase the difficulty level, use the hand behind you to pull on your raised feet backward. This would engage your hip flexors and make you lean into your torso.
4. Low Lunge Pose
This easy yoga pose is slightly different from the standing poses and is done on a mat. It eases built-up tension in your body, stretches your muscles, and opens up your hips.
Here’s how to go about this exercise:
● Stand straight with your feet shoulder-length wide.
● Place your left foot forward and bend it at the knee until your knee is directly over your ankle.
● Bring your right knee to the ground and raise your arms above your head.
● Take a deep breath and relax your shoulders away from your ears while releasing your breath.
● Breathe for 20-30 seconds, return to a standing position and repeat the process for your other side.
● For comfort, you can place a towel under your knee to reduce the discomfort of your weight on your knee.
5. Warrior Pose
This easy yoga pose is similar to the low lunge pose. To do this pose:
● From a standing position with your legs slightly apart, exhale and move your left leg back a few feet.
● Bend your right leg at the knee at an angle of 90 degrees.
● Position your back leg at 45 degrees facing the other leg in the front.
● Keep your back straight and raise your arms so that they are straight by your ears.
● Keep your hips squared and look up if possible.
● Count down 20-30 seconds and repeat this for your other side.
These senior yoga poses help loosen up knots in your muscles and increase flexibility in older adults. To make the best out of these poses, always ensure that you are equipped with the right gear, such as fitted and comfortable clothes, a yoga mat, non-sliding socks or shoes, and so on.
It has been proven and tested that yoga improves sleep, aids weight loss, increases balance, and helps the body and mind sync.
The exercise also has different intensity levels, from easy to medium and difficult. So, ensure that you start your older loved ones off with the simple, beginner poses mentioned in this article.