At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, we are huge advocates of yoga for our community members. We have seen amazing results from individuals who regularly practice our yoga classes, so we wanted to share our ultimate guide to yoga for seniors!
Benefits of Yoga
Before we get started on our guide to yoga, we feel it’s important to highlight the incredible benefits that yoga can bring to your life. At Origin, our programs are designed to support independent, active lifestyles from every angle. The beautiful part about yoga is how it does exactly that while also being low-impact and safe for older adults.
Below are just some of the many benefits you can look forward to if you practice yoga regularly:
- Yoga allows you to practice mindfulness by connecting to your body in the moment. Mindfulness has been shown to improve mental health, overall perception of well-being, and your nervous system.
- Regularly practicing yoga can strengthen your joints, prevent loss of bone density, and relieve muscle and joint pain by loosening any stiffness.
- Many yoga poses are designed to improve balance, which prevents falls and increases strength over time.
- Part of certain yoga practices is focused on meditation and breathing, decreasing your blood pressure levels and supporting mental health.
- By focusing on core strength for stability and stretching out your back and hips, yoga is phenomenal for back pain. Equal parts of flexibility and strength are the perfect formula to prevent pain and injury in your back as you age.
Chair Yoga Poses
If you want to work on building strength, struggle with balance, have little flexibility, or have a certain injury, chair yoga may be the perfect choice for you. By using a chair for balance or to sit, you can slowly improve your yoga poses safely. Don’t worry, you will get the same benefits and will see improvement over time!
Downward-Facing Dog (Chair Modification)
If you love a good stretch in your arms, lower back, hamstrings, ankles, and calves but worry about having the strength for a downward-facing dog, try it on a chair.
Warrior 2 (Chair Modification)
An energizing chair pose, warrior 2 strengthens your upper body to prevent injuries if you fall and opens up your breathing system. If you struggle with insomnia, this pose might be best for you in the morning.
Triangle Pose (Chair Modification)
This pose is an excellent modification for the standing triangle pose if you’re working on stretching your hips and improving balance. The chair acts as a prop to help you build strength in staying upright while still getting the benefits of a hip opener.
Standing Yoga Poses
If you have a lower back injury, want to work on your balance, and have a bit more flexibility, try standing poses. A whole-body workout, these are great for stretching the back of your legs and hips, all the while improving your balance to prevent falls.
A perfect beginner post to connect with your breathing to make sure you’re breathing properly through every other yoga pose. Most of us take the benefits of breathing for granted, but it is important to mindfully take time to strengthen your core and protect yourself during yoga.
Standing Spinal Twist
A great introduction to strengthening your arms and legs while also releasing tension in the spin, the standing spinal twist is a simple yoga pose that allows you to focus on your posture.
A more advanced yoga pose that tests your balance while opening up your hips. This will not only stretch your hip flexors to relieve lower back tension but will also strengthen your balance, legs, hips to prevent fall injuries.
Mat Yoga Poses
If you don’t struggle to get off the ground, want to work on your flexibility, and love the meditative calming effects of yoga, try some mat poses. These focus on calming your nervous system and opening up your hips and hamstrings to prevent back pain.
A naturally restful and calming pose, the child pose is designed to stretch your lower back while calming your nervous system.
You may recognize this pose as it is widely known for stretching your hip flexors and inner thighs. Great for relieving hip and lower back tension and providing more hip mobility to prevent injuries.
Cat Stretch Pose
Just like a cat, this pose curves your spin up and down to stretch your stomach and back while releasing tension and improving digestion.
At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, we are lucky to have on-site personal trainers who support our teams in creating the best exercise programs for our community members. If you liked this guide to yoga, we invite you to contact us to get started on your journey to a more independent, active lifestyle!