Yoga is a low-impact exercise form with great health benefits. Because of those qualities, yoga exercises suit people of all ages.
That is why yoga is such a famous workout for senior citizens. The exercise enables them to keep in shape without putting unnecessary strain on their aging bodies.
Yoga Benefits for Senior Citizens
Yoga exercises focus on helping maintain balance, flexible joints, bone health, and muscle mass. The exercises also help the elderly achieve a peaceful mental state as they witness their bodies aging.
Yoga encompasses the physical, mental, and emotional health of an individual. It combines physical activity with meditation to promote physical fitness, mental focus, and emotional stability.
For people entering their twilight years, these traits only benefit them tremendously. The good news is that there are poses perfect for seniors who can incorporate these exercises into their daily routines.
Whether living with family or in a quality senior living community, they should do these exercises daily.
Top 3 Yoga Exercises for Beginners and Seniors
1. Mountain Pose
The mountain pose or Tadasana is a great pose to start with for seniors. Not only is it low impact, but it also focuses on breathing and body awareness.
The mountain pose serves as a foundation for all standing poses. With regular practice, the mountain pose can help reduce back pain and improve posture.
How to perform the Mountain Pose:
- Stand up with your feet separated hip distance apart and parallel.
- Place your arms straight by your side.
- Spread your toes and push them down to the floor.
- Distribute your body weight evenly between both of your feet.
- Squeeze your thighs while engaging your leg muscles.
- Align your head over your heart, then your heart over your hips, and finally, your hips over your ankles.
- Take deep breaths.
- Lengthen your spine and reach your head’s crown toward the sky with each inhale.
- Relax your shoulders and reach for the ground with your fingertips with each exhale.
- Continue the exercise for five to ten breaths.
2. Tree Pose
The tree pose or Vriksasana is excellent for building strength and balance for seniors. With regular practice, the pose can boost muscle strength and stability in the legs.
How to perform the Tree Pose:
- Stand up with your feet together.
- Put palms together at your heart.
- Choose where you want to focus your eyes and keep a steady gaze to assist your balance.
- Lift your right foot off the floor slowly.
- Open your knee out toward the right side.
- Place your right foot’s sole toward the inside of your left thigh. Do not rest it directly on the knee.
- Straighten your arms with your fingertips, reaching for the sky once you feel stable.
- Hold the pose for about 20 to 30 seconds if you are able.
- Repeat the same movements with the opposite leg.
3. Low Lunge Pose
The low lunge pose or Anjaneyasana is good for stretching the muscles, opening the hips, and releasing built-up tension. Identical to a lunge pose, except it is more stable with the back knee on the floor for balance.
How to perform the Low Lunge Pose:
- Stand up with your feet hip distance apart.
- Put your arms at your side.
- Step forward with your left foot and bend your left knee until it is directly above your ankle.
- Dip your right knee toward the ground while tucking your back toe under.
- Inhale and circle your arms open.
- Lift your fingertips toward the sky.
- Relax your shoulders while exhaling and reaching for the sky with your fingertips.
- Breathe for about 20 to 30 seconds.
- Return to the standing position, then repeat the movement with the opposite leg.
Old age is inevitable, so you might as well make the best of it by aging gracefully. Regular yoga sessions can prolong your life and improve your quality of life.
The benefits include better sleep quality, improved flexibility, stronger bones, and stress relief. While plenty of sources online can get you started, always consult your caregiver before attempting anything.
Like with any new exercise, it is a new lifestyle. By following this guide, however, you will have a good start on the basic movements suited for seniors.