Yoga is a holistic practice. It is a combination of meditation, breathing techniques, mindfulness, and physical poses. This combination promotes physical as well as mental wellbeing. For the younger generation, yoga lovers have acknowledged the benefits of yoga. In addition, modern science has proven that yoga practice is beneficial. While research on yoga is preliminary, initial studies have shown that regular yoga practice comes with various benefits. Such benefits include;
- Improving flexibility and endurance
- Managing pain
- Preventing falls
- Managing diabetes, depression, digestive problems, and arthritis
- Lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Improving sleep quality
Is Yoga for Anybody?
Yes. Yoga is for anybody. Yoga is adaptable to various populations. The common image of yoga may be a young person. But this is just an assumption. Even seniors can do yoga and enjoy its benefits. This is considering that yoga ranges from demanding poses to gentle ones. There are also other exercises such as meditation, and conscious breathing. These require limited mobility. Therefore, there are yoga practices for young people as well as for seniors.
Seniors also get yoga benefits that young people enjoy. Through yoga, they are able to improve their mental as well as physical wellbeing. Additionally, they are able to maintain their balance, improve joint flexibility, maintain bone health, and maintain general wellbeing.
Seniors who practice yoga have confirmed improving the posture and having better sleep. They have also confirmed relieving stress. However, you may not experience these benefits automatically. Instead, regular practices will help you enjoy these benefits gradually.
Clearly, as a senior, yoga will do you more good than harm. But, what if you are a beginner? There is no need to worry. First, be assured that yoga is for anybody. All you need is to identify proper routine. In the following section, we’ll provide some yoga poses. You’ll find such poses in the routine yoga for elderly beginners.
1. Easy Pose
As a senior beginner, start with easy pose. Sit down on your mat and criss-cross your legs. Place your hands on your legs. Close your eyes. Take a long inhalation and exhalation. Enjoy.
2. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose is a low impact pose. It is thus proper for elderly beginners. It will help you be aware of your body and focus on your breath. If you do it regularly, and properly, it will help correct your posture and reduce back neck and back pain. It also helps maintain strong and healthy feet.
Stand on your feet with arms straight by the side. Ensure your heart, hips, and ankles are in alignment. Squeeze the thighs. Inhale deeply and then exhale while engaging the leg muscles.
3. Tree Pose
Tree pose is proper for elderly beginners. It helps in strength building and balance. It improves concentration. It results in improved stability and stronger leg muscles.
Stand on the feet and focus your eyes on a certain point to support the balance. Lift your left foot and open the knee out to the left side. Place foot sole on the inside of the right leg. It should be above the knee. Once you are stable, lift your hands up. Hold for few seconds and repeat the pose.
4. Legs Up the Wall Pose
egs up the wall pose is great for elderly beginners. It is a calming pose. It is helpful in relieving anxiety, improving sleep, and reducing menopausal symptoms.
Lie on your back and place your legs up the wall. Stretch out the arms. Ensure there is no space between the wall and the sitting bone. Rest the chest and the head while relaxing other muscles. Hold in this pose for about 15 minutes. Relax the body and focus on deep breaths.
5. Cobbler’s pose
This is a great pose for elderly beginners. It helps in opening hips while massaging feet. It is simple and gentle.
Sit on your mat. Bring the soles of your feet together, open the knees out to the sides. Hold for several breaths.
6. Wind Removing Pose
This pose is good for elderly beginners. It is simple and gentle. It helps in stimulating digestion and massaging internal organs.
Lie flat on the back. Take the left knee towards the left shoulder. Use your hands to pull the knee closer to the shoulder. Hold for some minutes, release, and switch sides. Hold again for some breaths and release. Then, hold both knees and squeeze them.
7. Low Lunge Pose
Low lunge pose is proper for elderly beginners. It helps in stretching muscles, opening hips, and releasing body tension.
Step the right knee forward and bend the knee. Lower the left knee tucking under the back toe. Inhale, lift up arms open circled. Exhale and let the shoulders relax away from ears. Hold at this pose for few seconds. Release and repeat the pose.
8. Bird Dog
Bird Dog is a good pose for back and abdominal support. Spine-health is important for everyone but most especially for seniors. By doing bad dog pose, you are sure of strengthening your back as well as your abdominal. This pose also improves concentration and keeps the brain young.
Kneel on your mat. Stretch the right leg back and the left hand forward. Imagine there is a cup of hot coffee on your back. Draw the belly button towards the spine. Breathe for a few seconds and then go for the next round. Five to 8 rounds can be more beneficial.
Some seniors may have very limited mobility. Still, you can do yoga in such a situation. Remember we said yoga is very adaptive. We also said it is for anybody. In this case, chair yoga can help. All yoga poses are done through the support of chairs. There is also water yoga. The poses are done underwater.
Some seniors may be suffering from chronic conditions. Others may be very inactive. There are others with spinal disc problems. Whatever problem you are experiencing, yoga can be beneficial to you. However, it is very important that you speak to your doctor before beginning the practice. There are some yoga poses that may lead to more harm. But, your doctor will guide you on which poses are safe.
Yoga lovers have time and again confirmed the benefits of yoga. In general, we can say that yoga improves physical and mental wellbeing. The good news is that anyone regardless of age or ability can tap to these benefits. In this article, we have provided 8 poses to incorporate in the routine yoga for elderly beginners. Start today and enjoy the benefits.