Easy Yoga Poses for Seniors
Yoga has been around for centuries, and its potential physical and mental health benefits are well known—from looser joints and stronger bones to greater flexibility and improved mind-body connection.
Although many gyms and wellness centers cannot offer in-person senior yoga classes due to social-distancing measures, there are plenty of easy yoga poses nearly anyone can do on their own, at home, without professional instruction. If you’re looking to get started with yoga or get a quick refresh, try out these five poses a few times a week.
Yoga is a lifelong pursuit and requires a certain amount of commitment, but even doing yoga a few times a week in 20-minute increments can reap some terrific health benefits over time.
1. Child’s Pose
This simple pose not only provides a gentle stretch, it serves as a neutral or resting position in between yoga poses.
On a mat, sit on top of your legs so your toes point behind you. Then, bend forward at the waist with your arms elongated, reaching outwards but not overextending.
You can hold the pose for a few breaths and repeat or do several up-and-down movements in a row.
2. Tree Pose
Great for balance, the tree pose requires you stand up straight with your feet together and palms held together above your head.
When you feel ready, lift one foot and put the sole against the inside of your opposite leg. Aim to rest it above your knee, but getting the sole on your ankle or calf is great too. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with the other foot.
3. Cat-Cow Pose
On your hands and knees, align your knees beneath your hips. Your hands and arms should be shoulder-width apart.
Gently arch your back and let your neck and head relax, hanging downwards. Then, reverse the move: lift your head and move your back and tailbone toward the mat. Over time this can help with balance and flexibility as well as help alleviate minor aches.
4. Warrior II Pose
On your mat or a comfortable surface, take a step forward with your left foot, keeping your right foot in place. Your feet should be a little wider than your shoulders. Extend your arms straight outwards and hold.
Then, bend the left knee so it juts outward and your thigh is nearly parallel to ground, as is comfortable. Point your left toes forward, and turn your right foot’s toes outward, making the foot perpendicular to the other.
Finally, rotate your torso toward your right side so your left side faces front and your left faces backwards. Hold for 10-20 seconds and reverse your footing and direction.
5. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees aligned beneath your hips. Lean into the mat, putting your weight on your hands and fanning out your fingers for support. Lift up your tailbone and push upward toward the ceiling. Feel the stretch, but don’t overextend.
Try to keep your leg and feet in place, with your heels dug into the mat, and your back flat. Hold for 10-20 seconds and return to starting position. Repeat.
At Regency Senior Communities, we believe the mental is just as important as the physical when it comes to our residents’ health. Although yoga and other group classes are currently on hold due to social-distancing measures, we typically offer gentle yoga, tai chi, and other wellness activities to keep everyone busy, active, and social. Contact us to schedule a virtual tour and learn about our other amenities and offerings.