Yoga is and has always been an amazing way to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body while keeping you fit as well. It helps to strengthen your joints and bones as you age, challenges your mind, and improves your sleeping habits, among many other benefits. With yoga becoming increasingly popular in recent years, it is not uncommon to see young and extremely fit yoga instructors all over the internet. However, don’t feel anxious to start practicing yoga if you’re an older adult. Yoga is for everyone, so here are the five best yoga poses for older adults.
The tree pose is an excellent way to build core and leg strength. This is perfect for older adults who are looking to work on their balance and focus. To do this pose, stand upright and raise one foot to the opposite inner thigh. Open your leg to the side and bring your hands to a prayer position. Breathe deeply for ten seconds.
The child’s pose is one of the more relaxing and less strenuous poses that is suitable for older adults. It gently stretches your hips, ankles, spine, and thighs while increasing blood circulation to your head. Start by kneeling on your shins, with your butt resting on your heels. Extend your arms in front of you and rest your forehead on the mat. If this is too painful, grab a pillow or two to support your hips or your chest, whichever is more comfortable. Remember, this is your resting pose, so it shouldn’t be painful at all.
The cobra pose is great for strengthening your spine while stretching the chest, lungs, shoulders, and core. Begin by lying face down on your mat, with your hands bent at your chest and your palms flat. Using your arms and back, push your upper body off the floor while keeping your hips, legs, and feet on the mat. If this is too painful, consider just pushing yourself until you rest on your elbows for a gentler stretch.
Savasana, or corpse pose, is usually done at the end of a yoga sequence to rest your body. It calms your central nervous system, helping your digestive and immune systems. It helps to lower blood pressure and reduces stress, headache, anxiety, and fatigue. Start by lying face up on your mat. Separate your legs and keep your arms alongside your body. Relax your entire body and mind for a calm and relaxing end to your yoga session.
The hero pose is good for increasing the flexibility in your hips, legs, and knees. It encourages the proper alignment of the aforementioned body parts while opening your hips and strengthening your quads and lower back. Start by kneeling on your mat. Angle your feet slightly inwards as you exhale and lean backward. Sit down between your feet and hold for ten seconds. As this may be hard for older adults with knee issues, reduce the weight on your knees by kneeling on a pillow instead.