While it is important for everyone to practice yoga, most feel they cannot because of age restrictions. But, being a senior citizen doesn’t matter when it comes to this ancient art. Poses can be modified to fit your personal needs in any situation. Blankets an blocks can be your best friend when it comes to modifications. Most yoga poses can be done in a chair if mobility is limited.
While yoga is excellent for the mind and spirit, it is also great for the body. Yoga will help strengthen the back, stretches hips, improve digestion, therapeutic for osteoporosis and high blood pressure. For seniors who are inactive, yoga would be very good for them in that they could increase blood flow to different parts of their body.
Here is a sequence of poses one could do at home, modified or not.
Lets begin in Mountain Pose. Stand up straight and tall, chest outwards and shoulders back. This is an easy pose to begin with as it improves posture and helps get us inline to do our other poses.
From there, lets move onto Standing Forward Bend. Bend forward and press palms for fingertips into the blocks on the floor. With each inhale, bend up and arch the torso, if able. Bending the knees is perfectly fine with this pose. Standing Forward Bend will promote blood flow into the shoulders, releasing tension. This will also help promote circulation in the upper body.
Now, lets get on our hands and knees and go into Cat Cow Pose. With each inhale lift your sitting bones and chest towards the ceiling. On the exhale, round the spine towards the ceiling as a counter pose. Cat Cow is great for anyone who has low back pain.
Let’s move into Child’s Pose now to give ourselves a little break. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels. If bending over to lay down is too difficult, you can rest a rolled up blanket between your legs and have that support you.
After Child’s Pose, let’s go into Downward Facing Dog. This is one of the best yoga poses you can do. It helps prevent osteoporosis, improves digestion, therapeutic for high blood pressure, and helps fight depression. Spread apart your palms and turn your toes under. Lift your tailbone away from the pelvis towards the ceiling. Keep your arms extended and firm your shoulder blades against the back.
Come back down in Child’s Pose to release yourself after Down Dog. Coming out of Child’s Pose, come into a cross-legged position in the middle of the mat. Gently, very gently, bring your right hand behind you and gently twist the spine. Bring your left hand to your right knee for support. This Gentle Twist helps aide digestion and promote flexibility in the spine. After a few breaths, come out and switch to the other side.
We’re going to end this sequence with Easy Pose. Keep sitting in a cross legged position on the mat. Sitting up straight and tall, with hands on the knees. Easy pose will help strengthen the back and promote gently stretches the knees and ankles. Use your time in Easy Pose to think about how the practice went for you, and how you feel now after you’ve done it.
Standing Forward Bend
Downward Facing Dog
Gentle Twist (opposite side)
It's important to not over strain your body. Honor your body. If it doesn't feel right, feel free to modify it!
Also, breathe. Breathing will make the muscles relax and make it easier to move.
Drink plenty of water. It's good in general to stay hydrated. =]