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A regular Yoga practice is not only safe for older adults, but it’s incredibly effective in keeping the body and mind in optimal health. As we age, we often suffer from chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, and poor sleep. Studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can slow, and in some cases even halt the symptoms that come along with these health conditions, making it an incredibly effective treatment and prevention plan for older adults.
Here are five yoga poses that our experts suggest:
This pose helps build upper body strength, and preserves bone density while boosting circulation. It can be easily modified, making it a great stretch for those with stiffer bodies. If you feel uncomfortable placing all your weight on your hands, simply drop your elbows down so your forearms are on the ground to help support your body. Be sure that you’re engaging your core and extending through your quads to get the most out of this quintessential yoga pose.
Especially beneficial for those with arthritis, the gentle, rhythmic motion of this pose helps lubricate joints and buffer against painful friction. It massages and stimulates organs in the belly, making it a great pose to help manage stress especially and inducing calmness of the mind. Start with your hands and knees on the floor in a "table top" position with your back flat. Take a deep breath in, and when you exhale, arch your back upwards toward the sky. Take a deep breath in again, bring your spine back to the table top position, and repeat.
This pose offers great relief to those who suffer from Sciatica. The Tree Pose challenges balance, builds lower body stability and strengthens knee and hip joints. It stretches the groins, and inner thighs, making it a great stretch for those who spend a lot of time sitting. If you need extra support, hold on to a chair or use the wall.
This pose strengthens the legs, opens the chest, and extends the back - reinforcing neutral alignment throughout the body. It’s therapeutic for those who suffer from flat feet, sciatica, and osteoporosis. Learn step by step instructions for Warrior II here.
As the name suggests, this pose has you lying down on the floor facing a wall with your legs raised, resting on the wall. The restorative nature of this pose encourages blood to flow to all areas of the body, making it ideal for any ailment. It stretches your legs and hamstrings, decompresses the spine, and recirculates blood to the heart.