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Top 7 Yoga Asanas For Seniors

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Top 7 Yoga Asanas For Seniors November 2, 2017

Age is just a number, they say. But, for the body, that might not be the case. You can clearly feel its effects, more so from the 60s. Aches, pains, and weakness welcome you, and if enough care is not taken, they will get you down and make you dull. So, before it gets too late and you become bedridden, try the following 7 easy yoga asanas that work wonders for senior citizens.

Before that, let’s learn how yoga helps old people.

Yoga To The Rescue For Senior Citizens

Have you noticed your grandparents going about their day slowly and taking their time with chores? Well, that’s a glimpse of what they are going through. With age, the bones and joints get weaker, and balance deteriorates. Mentally too, it affects them, with mild depression settling in as they witness their bodies aging.

Yoga practice will make them feel active and young. It will cheer them up and help them stand on their feet and go about their day with minimal help. It won’t stress them out as yoga’s impact is low and long-lasting. Studies conducted by the National Institutes Of Health, the University Of Southern California and the University Of California, Los Angeles showed positive results, encouraging many people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s to take it up.

Practice asanas once a day, and you are ready to go. Yoga slows down the aging process by softening the muscles and maintaining flexibility. So, if you wish to be active and healthy even while you are in your 60s and above, try the following asanas at least two to three times a week.

Yoga For Seniors – The 7 Best Asanas

  1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  2. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
  3. Balasana (Child Pose)
  4. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  5. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
  6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  7. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Image: iStock

Tadasana or the Mountain Pose is the basis of all asanas. All the other yoga poses are variations of the Tadasana. You can practice Tadasana at any time of the day and not necessarily on an empty stomach. But if you want to follow it up with other asanas, make sure you do it in the mornings on an empty stomach. Tadasana is a basic level Hatha yoga asana. Usually, the pose is held for about 10 to 30 seconds, but you can reduce the duration as per your convenience.

Benefits Of Tadasana For Senior Citizens

Tadasana works perfectly for the hunching elderly by improving their posture. It strengthens their weak thighs and ankles, making it easier for them to maneuver. It also relieves the pains and aches developed due to old age. The pose improves digestion and increases blood circulation, smoothening out old people’s problems with eating and acidity.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Tadasana

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2. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

Image: iStock

Baddha Konasana or the Butterfly Pose looks like a butterfly flapping its wings. It also looks similar to the stance of a cobbler at work. Practice Baddha Konasana in the mornings on an empty stomach and clean bowels. It is a basic level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for one to five minutes or tweak it according to your convenience.

Benefits Of Baddha Konasana For Senior Citizens

Baddha Konasana stimulates the bladder and kidneys, helping the oldies keep excretion issues at bay. Relieving themselves becomes smooth and regular. It will activate the old person, bring him/her out of mild depression and relieve fatigue and anxiety. The pose smoothens out the process of menopause.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Baddha Konasana

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3. Balasana (Child Pose)

Image: iStock

Balasana or the Child Pose resembles the position of a child in the mother’s womb. They say you relive your childhood in the later years of your life, making it apt for the older people to try Balasana. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening after a four to six-hour gap after having a meal. Balasana is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for one to three minutes or as long as you can.

Benefits Of Balasana For Senior Citizens

Balasana releases the tension built up in the fragile bodies of the old. Specifically, in the back, chest, and shoulders. It keeps them alert by driving away dizziness. Balasana makes the internal organs supple, facilitating healthy bodily functions. It aids in building deep and steady breathing that calms the older people and helps them lead an anxiety-free life.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Balasana    

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4. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

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Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose is an energizing backbend that looks like the raised head of a cobra. This is one of the best yoga poses for seniors. This pose will make weak older people sharp and swift. Practice it every day in the mornings on an empty stomach and clean bowels or in the evenings, giving a gap of four to six hours between your last meal and the practice. Bhujangasana is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Hold it for a couple of seconds, or as long as it feels comfortable.

Benefits Of Bhujangasana For Senior Citizens

Bhujangasana loosens the stiffened lower back of the old and stretches their muscles in the shoulders, chest, and abdominals to keep them flexible and healthy. The pose elevates their mood and cheers them up to get up and do something fun. In general, it increases their body flexibility, thereby improving mobility. Most importantly, it strengthens the spine, disallowing any hunching.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Bhujangasana

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5. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

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Adho Mukha Svanasana or the Downward Facing Dog Pose is an asana that looks similar to the stance of a dog when it bends down, facing forward. The Sanskrit name of the pose means that. It is a relatively easier pose for the aged to try. Practice it in the morning on an empty stomach and clean bowels for best results. Adho Mukha Svanasana is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Hold the pose for a few seconds or a minute until your body allows you to.

Benefits Of Adho Mukha Svanasana For Senior Citizens

Adho Mukha Svanasana boosts confidence, and for those who have retired from active life and have weakened bodies due to aging, it is a boon. It will remind them of all that they had achieved to reach the state they are in and make them feel proud of their achievements and long life. Along with that, the inverted pose allows more blood to flow into the brain, brightening it up with cognition, making the older person’s mind sharper and less prone to forgetfulness.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Adho Mukha Svanasana

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6. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)

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 Trikonasana or the Triangle Pose looks like a triangle when your body assumes the pose. It is quite simple and one of the few poses in yoga that require you to keep your eyes open while in the pose. Practice Trikonasana in the mornings on an empty stomach and clean bowels. The asana is a beginner level Vinyasa yoga asana. Hold it for 30 seconds or more, depending on how much your body permits.

Benefits Of Trikonasana For Senior Citizens

Trikonasana reduces blood pressure, a common issue faced by the elderly. It decreases fat from the waist and thighs and keeps them light and fit. The pose gives stability and balance and prevents fidgeting and imbalance. It strengthens and stretches the arms and legs, which helps the elderly do their chores better.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Trikonasana

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7. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

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 Shavasana or the Corpse Pose is a relaxing asana done at the end of a yoga session. The body looks like a corpse in Shavasana with nil movement. It is challenging because you need to calm down your mind completely and relax your body in this pose without fidgeting. Shavasana is a beginner level Ashtanga yoga asana. Stay in Shavasana for 10 to 15 minutes or more if you feel like it, but make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Benefits Of Shavasana For Senior Citizens

Shavasana cures insomnia, a common chronic problem in the elderly. Due to lack of physical activity, the bodies of older people don’t tire enough to sleep well in the night. A quick yoga session followed by Shavasana is a good remedy. It improves concentration, enhancing the quality of life for the elderly. The pose has a curing effect on those who have diabetes, weak mental health, and constipation.

To know more about the asana and how to do it, click here: Shavasana

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 Precautions To Be Taken

  • It is essential that during practice, the older people should not push themselves and do only as much as their body permits.
  • Even a long duration of a yoga session is not suitable for them. Short and simple is ideal.
  • Make sure you take the advice of a doctor before going ahead with the yoga practice and train only under a certified yoga instructor before you begin to exercise on your own at home.
  • If you have certain ailments, mention it to the yoga instructor beforehand so that necessary adjustments are made to the yoga asana sequence to not aggravate the problem by any means.
  • Repeat the postures instead of holding them for a longer duration and rest well after each pose.

Expert’s Answers For Readers Questions

Are there easier yoga exercises than the asanas for senior beginners?

Yes, there are. Sukshma Yoga is suitable for senior beginners. It is a set of simple exercises that require a few minutes of practice.

How different is senior yoga compared to standard yoga practice?

Yoga for seniors is pretty much the same as that for others. The manner of practice differs, though. For the seniors, the effort and duration are lesser.

Exercise is important for everybody. More so, in the older years, as it keeps the body healthy and away from weakness. Yoga is ideal for exercise for the elderly. It is easily adaptable to their needs and, most importantly, keeps injury at bay. So, get to it before it is too late or inform your grandparents or parents regarding this and do them a huge favor.

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