Practicing yoga can increase your body’s overall health in many ways, including flexibility, increasing blood flow, and helping you become energized. Yoga offers a variety of poses for you to practice and there are a multitude of ways you can exercise that are mindful of where you are in your health journey.
As one of the leading post-acute care facilities in southern California, South Coast Post Acute works with you to increase physical health and boost your recovery. Read our blog post below to learn more about which poses are ideal for seniors wishing to incorporate yoga into their health routine.
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Have you ever felt that it was hard to stand after sitting for long periods of time? Practicing yoga can strengthen your bones and joints so that you can become more limber as it can reduce stiffness and swelling. As we age, our bones lose density and our joints become stiffer. By practicing yoga, you can conquer those feelings of being imobile and feel more confident when it comes to sudden movements that require looser joints and muscles.
In addition to reducing stress, improving sleep, and decreasing pain by improving posture, yoga can give your mind a break which, in turn, can keep you sharp. As we get older, a common concern is that cognitive function slows, which can cause major stress in our life. Yoga is a relaxing way to give your mind and body the stress relief it needs to function at the highest level.
Poses You Can Do in the Comfort of Your Home
There are a multitude of ways that one can pick yoga poses and it all depends on your level of comfort. Even some of the most advanced yogis pay close attention to the easier poses to feel more of a sense of relaxation to keep a balanced, healing practice. You can start with a lower level of difficulty with Mountain Pose, which is a great starting point as it helps with balance and grounding through the feet. Stand straight and tall with your heels and toes touching. You can keep your arms to the side or open your palms to face forward. Feel free to close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Five to eight breaths is recommended.
You can slowly advance to Tree Pose to help with an intermediate level of balance. Stand straight and slowly bend one knee so that your foot rests on your ankle. If you are more advanced and are feeling balanced, you can advance by moving your foot up to your knee. Place your hands together in prayer at your chest or above your head. This pose strengthens your core, hip, and leg muscles. Take a few deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
To advance a bit further, you can get on all fours to try Bird Dog and Downward Facing Dog to help full-body strength and improve concentration. For Bird Dog, from a kneeling position, stretch one arm forward and the opposite leg back into the air. Be sure to keep your core and back parallel to the ground. Feel free to reach as far as you can for a good stretch.
You can then move into Downward Facing Dog, which helps with joint health and core strength. Go back to your hands and knees from Bird Dog, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips and back together. Your body should form a triangle, but make sure to keep your head between your biceps to keep good form to avoid injury. Press your hands into the mat to keep stable. Stay for about five to eight breaths and slowly lower down. If you have wrist or joint issues, you can modify this pose by resting on your forearms instead of wrists.
South Coast Post Acute is Southern California’s Premier Post-Acute Partner
It is important for seniors to strengthen the muscle groups that keep their posture strong to avoid pains and discomfort. Practicing yoga even for 30 minutes a day can help your mind and body maintain a level of health that will keep you feeling energized and youthful. At South Coast Post Acute, we offer world-class physical, occupational, and speech therapy designed to keep seniors engaged in health to live their best life. Learn more about our rehabilitation therapies today!