The idea of doing yoga after the age of 50 may sound intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Yoga, however, can easily be modified to meet your needs, so it’s not a “one size fits all” kind of activity.
In reality, everyone should practice yoga, especially as they get older because it can help them keep their strength and flexibility through a variety of low-impact postures.
Mobility in aging can be improved by strengthening your bones, muscles, and flexibility skills. This is incredibly important for all adults as they enter their senior years.
Yoga is a fantastic mind-body workout that also significantly reduces stress, which is a major contributor to many chronic illnesses like heart disease, obesity, and even dementia problems like Alzheimer’s.
Even better, yoga is free and can be practiced in the convenience of your own home without the need for pricey equipment. Uncertain about where to begin? Consider taking a yoga class or hiring a personal yoga trainer.
The following yoga positions are some of the greatest for supporting better aging. You’ll want to include them to get the most from your yoga program.
The Tree Pose
The tree position is the best way to encapsulate yoga in all its splendor. The main benefit of the tree pose is balance improvement, which is crucial for good aging as it can help reduce stumbles and tumbles as falls are the leading cause of injury in the elderly population.
• Stand with your feet together. Place your hands over your head with your palms together.
• For your first attempt, lift one leg up, so that your toes are gently touching the ground with your heel touching the ankle of your other leg.
• Balance in this position for approximately 30 seconds.
• Repeat with other leg.
Raise your heel and toes higher as your balance gets better so that your non-working leg is fully extended.
Legs Up A Wall
Similar to bending over, but without strain on the lower back muscles, this pose is helpful for extending the hamstring muscles. As it drains blood flow from the legs and recirculates it through the heart, this pose is also beneficial for people with weak circulation.
• Sit on the floor with your legs close to the wall.
• Position your body so that your legs are moving up the wall. Brace the back of your feet against the wall.
• Move your hips a little bit away from the wall and place the bottoms of your feet there if you are not able to stretch your feet in that posture.
• After 30 seconds of hamstring stretches, slowly raise your feet from the wall.
The Warrior Pose
The warrior pose is a fantastic standing position that strengthens the muscles in the legs and increases bone density (as standing is known for doing). Additionally, this pose increases the flexibility of the inner thighs and hip area.
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your arms at your sides.
• Turn to the right. Step your foot out about 3 to 4 feet, on the same side. Rotate your foot about 90 degrees.
• Inhale. At the same time raise your arms to shoulder height.
• Exhale, and simultaneously bend the outstretched leg to a position as close to parallel to the floor as possible.
• Keep your other leg straight, and hold pose for 30 seconds.
• Repeat with the other leg.
Due to its advantages in enhancing hip and lower back strength, the bridge posture is quite well-liked. People with lower back problems or those who have spent years at desk jobs may find the bridge position to be very beneficial.
• Lie on a stable surface (the floor preferably). Place your back and feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees. Keep your arms at your sides.
• Press hands into the floor as you breathe in.
• Exhale and contract abdominal muscles as you simultaneously push your hips and butt off of the floor.
• At the top position your back and upper legs should form a 45 degree angle, resembling a “bridge.”
• Hold for 30 seconds, then return slowly to the starting position.