These 5 Gentle Yoga Poses Are Perfect for Seniors

Amanda Thompson
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Yoga is a great form of exercise for everyone – not just for young people!
 
According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, more than 14 million yoga practitioners are over the age of 55. In the last decade, yoga for seniors has become more and more popular.
 
 

Key Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

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!
 
Is Anxiety Controlling Your Life? Reduce Your Anxiety With These 10 Yoga Poses
 
Here are ten key benefits of a regular practice of yoga for seniors:

  1. Increased flexibility
  2. Increased strength
  3. Greater mobility
  4. More core balance
  5. Greater relaxation
  6. Relief from chronic pain
  7. Relief from stress
  8. Increased heart health
  9. Improved sleep habits
  10. Increased blood circulation

 
Now is a good time to start a daily yoga routine! And the best way to begin is to practice gentle yoga for seniors, which is ideal for new practitioners.
 
 

Here Are 5 Gentle Yoga Poses for Seniors

The following yoga poses are beginner-friendly because they are less intense, more meditative and restorative, and perfectly suited for the needs of senior yogis. So, grab your mat and let’s practice these beginner-friendly yoga poses for seniors!
 

1. Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose is one of the great yoga poses for seniors to start with. It helps with balance and grounding, keeping your feet healthy and strong. This pose also helps you to concentrate on your breath and become aware of your body.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart
  • Relax your arms by your sides
  • Try to balance the weight of your body evenly on both of your feet
  • Lift and spread your toes and then press them softly into the floor
  • Firm your thigh muscles and engage the muscles in your lower legs
  • When you inhale, try to lengthen your spine and reach your head toward the sky
  • When you exhale, relax your shoulders and reach your fingers toward the ground
  • Stay in this pose from 30 seconds to one minute and breathe easily

 

2. Child’s Pose

One more gentle but very effective pose for people over 55 is Child’s Pose. This pose helps to relax and release tension that is often built up in our bodies.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Start with your knees on the floor, sitting back on your heels
  • When you inhale, lift and lengthen through your spine
  • When you exhale, walk your arms in front of you, releasing your torso toward your thighs so that you can put your forehead on the mat or a pillow
  • Breathe easily and hold this restorative pose from 30 seconds to a few minutes

 

3. Cobra Pose

This is one of the most beautiful and graceful poses. Moreover, it is one of the best yoga poses for seniors because it promotes body flexibility and improves mobility. And most importantly, Cobra Pose helps to strengthen the spine, which is often an important aspect of yoga for seniors.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Lie face down on the floor
  • Place your palms beneath your shoulders
  • Stretch your legs back (with the tops of your feet flat on the floor)
  • Gently press into your palms to raise your chest up off the floor
  • Roll your shoulders down your back and away from your ears
  • Gently reach yourself a little higher with each exhale
  • Hold this pose from 15 to 30 seconds with easy, relaxed breath

 

 
 

4. Tree Pose

Tree Pose is a perfect posture for people over 55. This pose helps with balance and concentration and creates leg and abdominal strength – which is why it’s so often seen in yoga for seniors classes.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet together and draw your palms together at your heart
  • Choose a point to focus and hold a steady gaze (this will help with balance)
  • Slowly raise your right foot off the floor and place the sole of your foot on the inside of your left leg, opening your knee out to the right side
  • Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds if possible
  • Repeat on the other side

 
Helpful practice tips:
You may wish start off by simply raising your heel only a few inches from the floor and placing it on your opposite ankle. You can also use a wall or a piece of furniture (like a chair) for greater support.
 

5. Corpse Pose

This relaxing pose can help to alleviate the chronic problem of insomnia. Beyond that, it improves concentration and helps to reduce stress.
 
Let’s try it:

  • Choose a comfortable location
  • Lie down on your back
  • Relax your hands and your feet into any position of comfort
  • Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths through your nose
  • Allow your whole body to relax
  • Experience your whole body lifting and falling with each breath
  • Stay in this pose from 5 to 15 minutes

 
Do you struggle with insomnia? Try this Simple Bedtime Yoga Sequence for Restful Sleep (Video)
 

Yoga for Seniors: The Takeaway

If you want to start practicing yoga, that’s great!
 
Pay no attention to your age because yoga is suitable for any age at all. There are many, many yoga poses for seniors and there are classes and teachers specifically dedicated to practicing yoga for seniors . . . so there is nothing standing in your way from taking up a yoga practice!
 
At first, focus on a few of these basic yoga poses for seniors to gain a strong foundation for all the more difficult postures. Then, watch how the yoga practice can transform your body, mind, and life!

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Amanda Thompson

Amanda Thompson is an editor at CrossFitShoes.com. She helps people get stronger and shares tips on sports, healthy living and beauty. All her stories are result-oriented and make her readers become healthy, wealthy and wise.

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