Yoga is renowned for delivering a variety of health benefits to those who regularly participate, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving flexibility, blood circulation and generally helping people feel better about ourselves.
What you might not be aware of are the number of benefits that seniors can gain from yoga. As we get older, our joints stiffen, and we become more susceptible to circulation problems, muscle weakness and depression from being restricted in what we can do. Taking part in regular light yoga sessions specifically created for seniors can prevent these issues from turning into serious health problems and ensure that mind, body and spirit remain strong.
Yoga for senior citizens is a great way to slow down the effects of aging and provide a fun, social activity
While the benefits of yoga for the elderly are great, there are some potential pitfalls you need to be aware of. Understanding physical limitations is crucial. Some traditional yoga poses place too much stress on an older body and can cause significant damage. It’s important to enroll in easy yoga classes for seniors with an experienced teacher at the helm to prevent this from happening.
A good first step is to watch a class in action, noting the poses, the pace and how the teacher explains and modifies movements for those with physical restrictions and medical conditions. It should feel like a safe, non-competitive environment where everyone can take things at their own pace, according to their own needs and physical condition.
Read on to learn how you can implement easy yoga poses for seniors.
Easy Yoga Poses For Seniors
Once you’ve spoken to a medical professional and attended a few yoga classes in the Pittsburgh area, you’ll be aware of what you can and can’t do regarding your range of movement and physical limitations, meaning you can continue practicing yoga in your own home.
Here are two easy yoga poses that you can try. Remember to keep safety a top priority.
Stand with your legs together and arms straight above you, palms together. Raise your right heel slightly off the ground so the toes are still touching the floor, and rest it against the left ankle. Hold this for a few breaths and as you gain balance, slowly raise the foot so it’s resting on the inner left leg. Now repeat with the left foot, slowing raising it to rest on the right leg.
As you improve, you can raise your heel higher in small increments until it’s resting above the opposite knee, but there’s no rush. Make sure there’s something close by to hold on to for support if you lose your balance.
Sit on 2 folded blankets with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees, and cross your right shin in front of your left shin. Move the knees closer together until your feet are directly underneath them. Slide the flesh of the buttocks outward so you can sit directly on your sitting bones. Press your palms together at the center of your chest. Take some deeper breaths in and out. Steady breathing will allow your body to remain firm and relaxed.
This is a gentle pose that opens the chest and strengthens the upper back and neck. As you improve, increase the number of repetitions you complete or the amount of time you hold the pose.
Yoga for seniors can be an easy and fun way to keep fit and keep your body in top condition, but it’s important to speak to your general practitioner first, and be aware of your own movement limitations and restrictions.
Would in-home care assistance improve your quality of life? We’re here to help! Contact Sunny Days In-Home Care a free consultation.