What makes yoga so popular among seniors? Its benefits! Practicing yoga, you can really improve your life in a variety of ways – especially if you’ve reached senior status. As we get older, the risk of life-threatening diseases increases, muscles tend to stiffen, and joints can lose their range of motion. Emotionally and psychologically, seniors experience higher rates of stress, depression, and anxiety. Luckily, yoga for seniors can make a world of difference! Check out some beginner positions below.

MOUNTAIN POSE

• Stand with your toes together and heels slightly apart.
• Spread your toes and place your weight evenly through both feet. Engage your core and tuck your hips under a bit so your tailbone is pointing down toward the floor. Relax your shoulders and roll them back and down.
• Inhale and reach your arms overhead, while pressing down into your feet. You may also put your hands in prayer position in front of your chest, or rest them by your sides—all are commonly used variations, and your instructor may cue one specifically or give you the choice.
• Take long, slow, deep breaths in and out of your nose. Hold for 3–5 breaths.

 

 

 

 

 

DOWNWARD-FACING DOG

• Start on your hands and knees, with your hands stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
• Spread your hands wide and press your index finger and thumb into your mat.
• Lift your tailbone and press your butt up and back, drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as best as you can and press your heels gently toward the floor.
• Your head should be between your arms, facing your knees, and your backs should be flat.
• Hold for 5–10 breaths.

 

 

SEATED FORWARD FOLD

• Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Flex your feet. Sit up tall with a straight back.
• Bending from your hips and keeping your flat back, fold your upper body over your lower body.
• If you are able to, grab onto the outside of each foot, or your ankles or shins. Release your neck and let your head hang heavy.
• Hold for 5–10 breaths.

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