There are numerous health benefits of Yoga. It is said to improve the flexibility and the immune system of the body. This is one of the main reasons why Yoga has gained so much popularity among the health conscious people these days. Also, one can engage in Yoga anywhere, anytime as it does not need any special equipment.
But, many people shy away from Yoga thinking about the complexity of the poses. This is especially true of the senior citizens. Did you know that there are many benefits of Yoga for seniors? Take a look at what these are:
Improves flexibility of the body and helps you to age in a better way.
Increases the body strength and balance and hence, reduces chances of falls.
Reduces stress, pain and fatigue related to growing age.
Boosts the immune system.
However, experts recommend that the seniors should follow some basic rules when engaging in Yoga.
Instead of doing the warming up yogasanas, go for a brisk walk or exercise your joints to warm up their body.
Understand the limitations of your body and alter the yoga postures accordingly.
Initially, joining a Yoga class or getting a Yoga instructor would be a good idea as the instructors would help you in getting perfect positioning during various poses. They would also help you to understand the limits of your body.
Yoga Poses for Seniors
Most of the Yoga poses that young people do, can also be done by the seniors but with a few alterations. However, for this, the help of an instructor would be required. But there are some easy poses for seniors which you can engage in at home without the help of an expert.
This is one of the best yogasana that can help you to improve the balance of the body.
Stand straight with your legs touching.
Raise your hands above your head and keep them straight.
Bring your palms together.
Raise your right leg with the toes touching the ground and the heel touching the ankle of your left leg.
Stay still for about 20 seconds or as long is comfortable for you.
Return to original position.
Now repeat the same sequence with your left leg.
Once you start gaining balance, try rising your leg higher such that it rests on the knee joint of the other leg.
2. Setubandhasana (Bridge Pose)
This is a great Yoga posture for you if you have led or are leading a sedentary life. This pose is extremely beneficial for the hip and lower back muscles.
Lie down, facing up and hands by your side.
Spread your legs at hip distance.
Now bend your legs.
Inhale and place your hands palm down.
Exhale and raise your hips from the ground followed by your spine, such that your body forms a bridge.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds or as long as your are comfortable.
Slowly lower your spine and then your buttocks.
Get back to the original rest state.
Repeat the steps a few more times.
3. Katichakrasana (Standing Spinal Twist Pose)
This yogasana improves the strength of the waist and makes it more flexible.
Stand straight with your feet placed together.
Breathe in and raise your hands so that they are in front of you. Hold them parallel to each other, palms facing in.
Breathe out and at the same time turn to your right from the waist up.
Hold this position for sometime and then go back to the original state.
Repeat this in the other direction.
4. Savasana (Relaxation Pose)
This is one of the best yoga poses for seniors at home. This pose helps your body to relax and unwind. Yoga experts recommend that one should always engage in this asana at the end of every yoga session to let the body relax.
Lie down on the floor, facing upwards. You can use a pillow in case you feel the need to support your head.
Place your feet a few inches away from each other and leave them relaxed.
Place your hands beside your body with your palms facing upwards.
Relax your shoulders.
Breathe in and out and focus on your breathing. This will help your body to relax.
Once you feel relaxed, stay in this state as long as you feel like it.
5. Uttanasana (Chair Forward Bend Pose)
If you thought that seniors who are confined to a chair or can't stand for long, would be unable to do yoga, think again. There are a number of poses in Yoga for seniors in chair. One such Yoga posture is the Uttanasana.
Sit on the chair with your back straight.
Breathe in and raise your hands over your head.
As you breathe out bend forward such that your head hangs over.
Leave your hands loose or let them rest on the floor, in case they touch the floor.
Hold this pose for sometime.
Breathing in, raise your body and your hands to go back to the original position.
Other than these there are a number of other yogasanas which can be done while standing as well as sitting on the chair. And they are just as effective. So, get over your apprehensions of engaging in Yoga at a later stage. Go ahead and make it a part of your life.