Regular Yoga Asanas for Seniors
Regular practice of yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life. Yoga will not just tone your body, but will also uplift your mind. Your attitude will improve. You will think and feel young. And remember, you are as young as you feel!
Yoga refreshes your mind and spirit. Tones your body. Keeps your internal organs and hormonal system in balance. All the more reason for people of all ages to do yoga.
Here some yoga asanas for elders:
1. Vriksasana (Tree Pose):
Stand with your legs together and your arms straight over your head, palms together. Raise your right leg slightly off the ground so that the toes are still on the ground and your heel is touching the inside part of your ankle.
Balance for 20 to 30 seconds if possible.
Repeat with the other leg. Hold onto something if necessary.
As you gain balance, draw your raised foot upward, resting the sole of your foot on the inside of the lower leg.
Eventually, work toward having your raised leg bent, with the foot resting on the inside of the opposite leg above your knee.
Benefits of Tree pose:
- It brings balance and equilibrium to your mind.
- It helps improve concentration.
- This posture has been found to relieve some cases of sciatica.
- It makes the legs strong, improves balance, and opens the hips.
- Helps those who are suffering from sciatica.
2. Virabhadrasana (Warrior 2 Pose)
Any standing pose helps to improve bone density, while also improving lower body strength. “Not only do you strengthen, you get a stretch through your hips, groin, and inner thighs.”
Begin with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms straight at your side.
Turn to the right, and step your right foot out wide about 3 to 4 feet while keeping your heels in line. Turn your right foot out to a 90-degree angle.
Inhale and raise your arms straight to the sides to shoulder height.
As you exhale, bend the right leg until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Your left leg should be straight.
Hold pose for up to 30 seconds while concentrating on your breath.
Repeat pose with other leg.
Benefits of Warrior II Pose:
- Stretches your hips, groins and shoulders
- Opens your chest and lungs
- Builds stamina and concentration
- Energizes tired limbs
- Stimulates your abdominal organs
- Helps relieve backaches, especially through your 2nd trimester
- Develops balance and stability
- Improves circulation and respiration
- Therapeutic for flat fleet, sciatica, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel and infertility.
3. Uttana shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
A cross between two of the better-known yoga poses, downward dog and child’s pose, extended puppy pose offers the benefits of lengthening your spine without some of the discomfort some people find on their knees and hips in the other poses,
Start on all fours in a tabletop position, with your knees under your hips, and wrists under your shoulders. Place a towel under your knees if necessary.
Walk your hands in front until your chest is close to the ground while your hips remain over the knees.
Keep your head down, and press your arms and hands into the ground.
Breathe deeply for 20 to 30 seconds, and then return slowly to tabletop.
Benefits of Extended Puppy Pose:
- Stretches the spine and shoulders
- Calms the mind and invigorates the body
- Improves flexibility, especially in the spine
- Relieves symptoms of chronic stress, tension, and insomnia
- Strengthens and stretches the arms, hips, and upper back
4. Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge pose):
This move offers the benefits of a lunge, but with the added stability of the back leg remaining in contact with the ground.
Stand with your legs hip-distance apart and arms at your side.
Step the right foot forward and bend the knee until your knee is directly over your ankle.
Your left leg is straight behind you with the knee or shin resting on the ground. Place a towel under your back leg if necessary.
Press your hands or fingers into the floor to the side of your right heel.
Keep your upper body lifted.
Breathe for 20 seconds, and then return to standing and repeat with other leg.
Benefits of Low Lunge Pose:
- Releases tension in your hips
- Stretches your hamstrings, quads, and groin
- Strengthens your knees
- Helps build mental focus.
5. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge pose):
“This is great if you’ve spent many years working at a desk job or if you haven’t been active in a long time”
Begin lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart directly under your knees. Arms should be straight at your side.
Breathe in as you press your hands into the floor.
Exhale and tighten your stomach muscles as you tilt your pelvis and then your spine off the ground until you are in a bridge position. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly lower your spine starting from the shoulders until your back is flat on the floor. If needed, put a folded blanket or towel under your shoulders for support.
Benefits of Bridge Pose:
- Stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips
- Strengthens the back, buttocks, and hamstrings
- Improves circulation of blood
- Helps alleviate stress and mild depression
- Calms the brain and central nervous system
- Stimulates the lungs, thyroid glands, and abdominal organs
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve symptoms of menopause
- Reduces backache and headache
- Reduces fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia
- Rejuvenates tired legs
- Relieves symptoms of asthma and high blood pressure
- Therapeutic for hypertension, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
6. Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall pose)
This restorative pose can offer some of the gentle release of other poses without the strain of bending over
Sit with one side of your body against a wall. Slowly lower your back to the floor. Shift your legs up the wall until the backs of your legs are flat against the wall.
If you can’t get your legs flat against the wall, move your body back slightly from the wall and bend the knees slightly. Keep your arms flat at your side.
Breathe deeply through the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Slowly swing your legs down from the wall.
Benefits of Legs Up the Wall Pose:
- Regulates blood flow
- Alleviates menstrual cramps
- Relieves swollen ankles and varicose veins
- Helps testicular, semen, and ovarian problems in men and women respectively
- Improves digestion
- Restores tired feet or legs
- Stretches the back of the neck, front torso, and back of the legs
- Improves problems of the eyes and ears
- Relieves mild backache
- Provides migraine and headache relief, especially when done with a bandage wrapped tightly around the forehead and back of the skull
- Helps keep you young and vital
- Calms anxiety
- Relieves symptoms of mild depression and insomnia
Hope, these Yog asanas will give the required motivation and determination to be healthy and energetic all day long.
Yoga refreshes your mind and spirit, just give it a try...