As yoga becomes more and more popular – cutting through demographics and proving that it can transcend ability and age, people are becoming more and more aware of its benefits.
Yoga can be an amazing tool for seniors who want to increase their strength, flexibility, and balance among a number of other things. It has been proved to reduce falls and build confidence among senior communities. However, often the hardest part of yoga is just knowing where to start.
Here is an 8 position yoga-sequence that is ideal for beginner seniors:
1. Tree Pose
- Begin this sequence with a tree pose. Stand with feet flat on the floor, hips-length apart with arms hanging comfortably at your side.
- Slowly raise your arms up and place your palms together above your head. If you cannot raise them this high, just raise them as high as you can comfortably.
- Slowly raise your right foot off the ground and point your toes downward – pressing your right heel against the inside of your right leg. You can raise this leg as high as you would like, but stop when it becomes uncomfortable.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, if possible. Repeat on the other side.
2. Chair Pose
- From the tree position, lower your raised foot back down to the ground. Make sure both feet are planted firmly, hips-length apart.
- Separate your palms and slowly swing your arms downward toward your hips.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you at a slightly upward angle, parallel to each other with palms facing each other, shoulder-length apart.
- Slowly bend at the knee as if you were going to take a seat. Hold for 20-30 seconds, if possible.
3. Staff Pose
- From chair position, come back to a standing position and lower your arms to your side.
- Take a seat with your back against a wall. Press your shoulder blades gently against the wall. You may place a rolled up towel between your lower back and the wall to offer you more support.
- Stretch your legs straight out in front of you as much as you can. Place your palms flat on the floor beside your hips.
- Imagine your spine is a long staff with the base of your spine pressing deeply into the floor and the top of your head stretching toward the ceiling.
- Flex your ankle by pointing your toes out in front of you and then pulling them back toward you.
- Take a few deep breaths and continue flexing your ankles for 20-30 seconds.
4. One-Legged Wind
- From the staff position, scoot away from the wall and lay flat on your back.
- Raise your right leg with your knee bent and try to pull your knee as close to your chest as possible while still being comfortable.
- Breathe deeply and hold this position for 20-30 seconds before switching to your left leg and repeating.
5. Camel Pose
- From the one-legged wind position, take a kneeling position, with your calves and feet behind you resting gently on the floor and your head, neck, and shoulders standing tall, with arms at your sides. If this is too hard on your knees, place a pad or towel beneath them.
- Slowly move your arms backward and bend your back gently toward your heels.
- Touch your both heels with your fingertips, if possible.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.
6. Cat Pose
- From the camel position, slowly pull your torso upward so you are back in a kneeling position with your head, neck, and shoulders standing tall – arms at your sides.
- Come into an all-fours position by placing both palms on the floor in front of you. Make sure that your hips are sitting above your knees and your shoulders are sitting above your wrists.
- Slowly arch your spine upward toward the ceiling the way a cat stretches – shoulders and hips pointing down toward the ground. Hold for 5 seconds and then release – coming back to a flat back position.
- Repeat for 20-30 seconds.
7. Extended Puppy Pose
- From the cat position, walk your hands out in front of you as far as you can. Keep your knees planted where they are.
- Once you have stretched as far as possible while still being comfortable, keep your palms flat on the floor and hold this pose for 5 seconds before walking your hands back till they are under your shoulders.
- Repeat for 20-30 seconds.
8. Child’s Pose
- From the extended puppy position, walk your hands out once more – this time, resting your chest against your knees. If you cannot rest your chest against your knees, just lower your chest as low as you can. Hold this position and breathe deeply for 20-30 seconds.
Once you have completed this cycle, you may repeat it if you want more of an exercise. Try to repeat this cycle 2-3 times a week at first. It is important to remember to never push yourself to a point that is dangerous. Only attempt a position or parts of a position that are comfortable to you. Over time, you will notice changes in your strength and flexibility and you will be able to do more.