Exploring Yoga Stretches for Seniors
Yoga is widely touted for its ability to combat pain, fatigue, and stress. People of all ages can appreciate those benefits. Fortunately, you don’t have to master extreme poses to enjoy the advantages. Learning to move between simple poses that are paired with controlled breathing can provide great perks. Some yoga stretches can even be performed while seated in a chair! Let’s explore some of the many great yoga stretches for seniors.
An excellent foundation, mountain pose may not seem like much of a stretch because it involves standing still. However, it is actually about posture. Good posture certainly requires a lot of muscle! To do mountain pose properly, stand tall with your heels and big toes touching. Draw the abs in, and make an effort to maintain good posture while keeping the shoulders and knees relaxed. Maintain the pose for between five and ten breaths.
Increasing strength and stamina in the legs helps to improve balance, reducing the risk of falls and providing peace of mind. Warrior II is a fun way to hone your balance and build power in your legs. Prevention offers directions for completing warrior II:
- Stand tall at the long side of your yoga mat with your feet roughly 3 feet apart. Be bold, and take up space.
- Raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor, holding your palms down.
- Turn your right foot forward. Turn your left foot inward 45 degrees. Bend your right knee so that it is above your right foot, allowing your torso to shift forward. Keep your gaze over your right hand.
- Return to your original position. Repeat on the other side.
Yoga poses can be performed in countless variations. There are almost always modifications available that can make a pose easier, harder, or accessible to someone who has an injury. Pigeon pose is fantastic for hip mobility, but the standard version can be intense. A chair version delivers great benefits with less strain, making it a good yoga stretch for seniors. To do it, sit in a sturdy chair. Gently place your right ankle on top of your left knee or thigh. Don’t force anything. Inhale, softly flex your right foot, and bend forward as you exhale. Take a few breaths while you remain sitting forward. Then, lean back. Slowly lower your foot. Repeat with the other side.
As Forbes points out, relaxation pose is a favorite for wrapping up yoga workouts. It’s thought to calm the mind and body, encouraging meditation and healing. To perform relaxation pose, lay on the floor on your back with your legs out straight. Place your hands at your sides with your palms up. Breathe slowly and deeply for three breaths. Then, begin relaxing your body, starting with your toes and working up to your head. Remain in relaxation pose for several minutes. About 10 to 30 minutes is recommended.
Yoga instructors are trained to help students learn how to do yoga safely. The best instructors encourage students to honor their limits and work with them to find modifications and variations so that they can participate safely as they grow in strength and skill. Of course, anyone considering a new exercise program should talk with their healthcare providers first. Exercise is generally a welcomed component of a healthy lifestyle, but your doctors may offer advice, suggest restrictions, or provide information to pass along to the instructor to help keep you safe.
At the Gables on Pelham, we delight in seeing our residents thrive. We’re happy to provide a wide range of activities and events, including wellness classes.
Are you planning to retire in Greenville, South Carolina? Be sure to check out The Gables on Pelham, a continuing care retirement community that welcomes seniors from all walks of life. We offer flexible and personalized care, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. You’ll love our cozy accommodations, fun-filled events calendar, and welcoming community atmosphere. To learn more, please schedule a tour or give us a call at 864-713-1377.