The practice of yoga has many proven health benefits for seniors and the elderly including improved flexibility, strength, and balance, which help prevent seniors from injuries and decrease risk for falls.
While we know it is important for seniors to stay active and engaged in exercise to the extent of their ability, what yoga movements are appropriate and helpful for older adults?
Here are 6 yoga poses perfect for seniors and the elderly:
Thought of as the quintessential yoga pose, Downward Dog helps build upper body strength and preserve bone density to counteract osteoporosis. Any pose where the heart is above the head, such as Downward Dog, boost circulation, improves blood flow and aids in flushing toxins from the body. Those with high blood pressure should speak to their doctor before attempting this pose. If it is difficult for the person to place weight on their arms, you can take a modification and drop in to Dolphin Pose (elbows on the ground).
Legs up the wall Pose
This pose provides a gentle stretch to the legs and hamstrings which helps relieve mid-back pain. To modify the pose, add a yoga bolster or a blanket under the person’s back for extra support.
Relaxation Pose, or Corpse Pose, is used for centering the body and though it looks deceptively simple it packs a number of benefits including relief from constipation and indigestion and also decrease symptoms related to diabetes, asthma, and insomnia.
The fluid movement of this pose is especially beneficial for those with arthritis who experience pain in exercise that involves static movement. The gentle, rhythmic flexing and extension of the back helps lubricate joints and buffers against painful friction.
As the name suggests, the Spinal Twist works to lengthened and release tension from the spine, helping keep internal organs healthy and supple. It is beneficial for the kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands.
This relaxation pose is a great way to gently stretch the body and back muscles. It aids in blood circulation and open up the shoulders, hips, tights, and ankles as well.
What other yoga poses are a great for seniors and older adults? What should seniors practicing yoga be aware of?