Yoga is a fun activity that's good for your mind, body and soul. Many home care services organise activities such as yoga for their residents. Alzheimer's care in Whittier is one such place that can be trusted for your the complete care and assistance of your loved ones.
Yoga exercises are the best way to stay flexible, reduce stress, and improve your well-being, regardless of age and ability. But if you're elderly or immobilized for whatever reason, there may be some poses you can't do. Nature has made way around not moving about much with simple yoga poses that help increase mobility in seniors. Here are seven easy yoga poses that senior citizens can practice to stay strong physically and mentally (photo credit goes to @jaroslavstricko):
Yoga Poses Seniors Should Practice
1) Mountain Pose
This asana is meant to prepare you for other poses by getting your energy flowing throughout your body. It also helps strengthen the ankles, knees and hips, making it easier for you to move about.
2) Half Moon Pose
This asana is great for seniors as it stimulates all those areas in the body that don't get much attention from other poses. Strengthening these parts of the body will help improve mobility making one a better walker and mover without falling too often or injuring oneself. Pro tip: use a yoga block or yoga brick for alignment and support!
3) Triangle Pose
Through this asana, you'll be able to stretch your hands, legs, and back, strengthening your body's core muscles. Thus, you have less chance of falling, if not no chances at all, because balance is key when walking around without support.
4) Warrior 1 & 2 Poses
These poses are good for building upper body strength, increasing flexibility and reducing stress levels, making it easier for a senior to do things independently. They're also good for increasing blood flow and strengthening the lungs. However, before proceeding to Warrior 2, please make sure you read the yoga poses seniors may want to avoid below.
5) Wide Squat Pose
This asana is beneficial in keeping your bones healthy, improving balance and reducing back pain. It strengthens the ankles, legs, muscles and muscles around organs, putting less strain on them, which can cause injuries if too much stress is put on them over time.
6) Corpse Pose
The name alone explains what it does to your body as it relaxes you completely, which reduces stress levels making it easier to think again so that tasks may be completed without having memory lapses all the time.
7) Cat-Cow Stretch
These asanas work both the back and strengthen them, so you won't have to worry about constant back pain every time you get up. With this stretch, you'll be able to stretch your hands and legs while your spine is being strengthened, making it easier for you to get up and down.
Yoga Poses Seniors May Want to Avoid
If you're a senior citizen who has arthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there are some yoga poses you may wish to avoid performing. These poses will may put too much stress on your knees and hips, aggravate pain and increase inflammation.
1) Warrior 2 Pose
This asana requires a lot of balance and flexibility, which may not be present in older people who already have lower back or knee problems. Suppose you haven't been exercising regularly or haven't been moving about as much as usual. In that case, an older person may want to avoid doing yoga poses requiring a lot of movement and flexibility.
If you have arthritis in the neck, doing this Pose will make it worse, causing immense pain and discomfort, which can hinder any progress to recovery. It's better to avoid yoga poses like the headstand altogether until you've done away with all signs and symptoms of arthritis in that area.
3) Seated Forward Bend Pose
With this asana, you're asking for trouble because one has to bend their spine excessively while folding forward, which may not agree with seniors who already have back problems. Putting excessive pressure on your spine could all too easily cause pain or injury to stiff joints and muscles if not done properly.
Yoga is an excellent workout for anyone. It tones and strengthens the muscles, helps increase blood flow and can heal many common ailments seniors face every day. Prescribed exercises can be done once you've consulted your doctor and they have given you the okay to practice yoga. Be gentle. However, this doesn't mean you take your practice lightly. Remember that it's best to avoid doing yoga poses you're not accustomed to. But you can slowly work up to those challenging poses. With gradual conditioning and strengthening it's possible to maintain a long, impressive and injury free yoga practice.
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