Here are some non-strenuous yoga poses for seniors!
Yoga has been gaining traction as a popular form of exercise in the United States. It integrates breath, movement, and balance to help people become stronger both mind and body wise. What’s even better is that this form of exercise isn’t “one size fits all” and the poses could be modified to suit your body and situation. That being said, it’s a great exercise for seniors because it gives them a way to be physically active. Yoga doesn’t have to be exertive, and it helps keep older bodies in shape and minds sharp. Here are a few great yoga poses for seniors approved by the home health care aides at Wilson Care in Honolulu.
Note: these poses are for seniors who are just beginning with yoga. If you’ve been at it for a while, feel free to explore more challenging poses or modify the ones listed below!
Downward facing dog
Downward facing dog isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s not impossible. When practicing the proper form, there won’t be too much stress put on the wrists and shoulders. This move is an integral pose in yoga and it strengthens the core and shoulders while improving flexibility. If you’re a senior, ease into this pose and hold it for a length that feels challenging, but not painful. Feel free to bend the knees and lower back down to the mat when you want to.
Seniors face a lot of adversity by not only the world in general but also themselves. As people age in the United States, they sometimes see themselves as less because they don’t have the physical ability to do what they once loved. Mountain pose is a fantastic position in yoga for strengthening confidence as well as the body; what’s more powerful than a mountain? Start with legs hip distance apart and knees slightly bent. Stretch both hands to the sky and turn the pinkies inwards towards each other. Hold this posture and breath!
Backs receive a lot of stress over a lifetime. As they age, they become weaker; and, back pain is sometimes a result of a weak back. Cobra helps to simultaneously stretch out the back and shoulders while also strengthening it. Start on your belly and move your hands to underneath your shoulders. Lift up and gaze towards the floor in front of you and hold the pose as you breath. For a challenge, move your hands forward a bit and press up to your fingertips.
Hips are fragile, especially as we age. To keep them safe from injury, you should stretch them out often. Cobbler’s pose encourages flexibility and balance, making it perfect for seniors. Start by sitting upright and bring the soles of the feet together. Hold this pose and breath! It opens up the hips, welcoming in strength and flexibility in those fragile hips. Additionally, the added strength and flexibility mitigate against hip pain from years of strain.
Interestingly enough, the older we become, the less sleep we get. It seems counterintuitive, but seniors have the lowest amount of sleep out of all of the generations. Of course, that doesn’t mean that seniors are any less tired. Yoga is relaxing in its own way, and certain poses could supplement a lower amount of sleep. Savasana is one of them! Here, you’re laying on your back, palms either facing towards the ceiling or the floor, and just breathing. The point of this pose is to relax and to focus your breathing. It’s also the perfect stress relief pose!
Tree pose is similar to mountain pose, but incorporates more balance. Here, you start with both feet planted on the ground. For beginners, place your left or right foot against the opposite calf. If you have trouble balancing, hold onto a sturdy chair or table for support. One mistake to avoid making is placing the foot on the knee joint because the knee is sensitive, especially on older bodies. As you practice this, see if you could place the foot on the thigh and balance without support.
We hope you enjoyed this brief post on helpful yoga poses! If you’re in need of a homecare aide in Honolulu to practice these fun moves with you or your loved one, contact Wilson Care today!