Yoga is among the few physical exercises that you can continue doing as you age. It refreshes the mind and spirit and tones the body. Yoga asanas are highly beneficial for the elderly as they help keep internal organs and hormonal systems in order. But keep in mind, as you grow older, it is more important to focus on your flow rather than how much yoga you do.
You must have noticed your grandparents or any senior citizens around you as they go about their day slowly and take time to perform chores. Well, that is just a glimpse of what old age is. The bones and joints of our body get weaker and with time, the body starts to lose balance. Mental health is also affected with age.
Age is just a number, but is it? As you touch your 60’s, you will experience the change in your body’s functionality. Pain and weakness become your friend and if not addressed timely, they may bog you down for the rest of your life. You don’t want this; no one does. So, below are a few yoga asanas (positions) that should help your body to maintain balance and strength.
Tadasana is a basic Hatha yoga asana. It is said that all the other asanas are variations of the Tadasana. In this asana, the position is held for about 10 to 30 seconds, but you can reduce the duration according to your convenience. This asana can help resurrect the hunched back by improving body posture. It also aids in digestion and blood circulation.
2. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
As the name suggests, the pose appears as a butterfly flapping its wings. Baddha Konasana is best performed on a fresh mind early in the day, on an empty stomach, and with clean bowels. The pose is basic Vinyasa yoga asana. You can hold the position for 2 minutes or as per your convenience. This asana stimulates the bladder and kidneys for smooth excretion. And in women, the Butterfly Pose is said to provide relief during menopause.
A child’s posture in a mother’s womb is similar to Balasana. Balasana helps in releasing the tension built up in the back, chest, and shoulders. This asana is best practised as the first activity when you wake up, without eating anything. You can also perform it in the evening, but keep in mind to have a gap of at least 4 hours after having a meal.
Bhujangasana is one of the best yoga asanas for seniors. Like Balasana, it is also best practised when you’re fresh early in the morning before breakfast or in the evening, at least four hours after the last time you ate. Bhujangasana relaxes the stiffened lower back and stretches the muscles of the shoulders, chest, and abdominals.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana is a relatively easier pose for an aged individual. Also known as Downward Facing Dog, the pose allows more blood to flow into the brain. For better results, practice the asana on an empty stomach.
A precautionary note
- During practice, don’t push yourself and do only as much as your body allows.
- A short and simple yoga session is always better than a long and vigorous one.
- Always perform under guidance.
- Take proper rest after each pose.
The asanas mentioned above are easily adaptable and most importantly, won’t cause any injury. Make sure to follow this routine to keep your body healthy and energetic.