7 Yoga Poses for Seniors

By Vivek Roy

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Yoga is a practice of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines. It is originated in ancient India and is one of the main Hindu philosophical traditions. Yoga is considered the soul of India. It is meant to be a system which increases awareness and decreases diseases. There are many health benefits with regular practice of yoga which includes hair growth, weight loss, increasing energy, reducing stress, better breathing, peacefulness, increase of concentration, flexibility etc. It is something which one can do wherever he/she is and whenever they want and however long they can.

When a person reaches the age of 60, they can no longer work as efficiently and effectively as they did years back. Though many like to stay busy and working, their body struggles to support it and some will struggle to do even normal daily chores. At that age we can see that people suffer with aches, weakness, pains, malnutrition, depression etc. Their bones and joints get weak. Practice of yoga helps in boosting one’s immunity. It unites the body, mind and the spirit to attain calm and peacefulness.

There are few poses (asanas) which are suggested for senior citizens, the practice of which can help one to feel younger and more active, as well as avoiding age-related health issues.

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

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose):

Baddhan Konasana is popularly known as butterfly pose as the pose looks like a butterfly flapping it’s wings. It is also known as bound angle pose. It is a basic level asana in Vinyasa yoga. Practicing it in the early morning with an empty stomach, results in stimulating bladder and kidneys which in turn helps in free bowel movement. It also activates the person, bringing them out of mild depression and relieving anxiety. It also stimulates abdominal organs and the heart which in turn improves general circulation, and the pose helps in stretching the inner thighs and knees. It is also considered therapeutic for high blood pressure, asthma and flat feet. According to the ancient traditional texts, it destroys disease and gets rid of fatigue.

Tadasana (Mountain Pose):

Tadasana, also known as mountain pose, is the basic level of hatha yoga and is the basis of all the yoga asanas. Which means that all other yoga asanas or poses are the variations of it. One can practice the Tadasana during any time of the day. In general this pose is held for about 10 to 30 seconds, which also can be reduced as per their convenience. It is very helpful in improving the posture and strengthens weak thighs and ankles, improves digestion and also increases blood circulation. It also helps in relieving the pains and aches caused due to age.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose):

Bhujangasana, well known as the cobra pose, is an energizing back bend which looks like a raised cobra head. This pose makes the elder people sharp and swift. Practicing it in the morning with an empty stomach or in the evening helps in free bowel movement. Just need to hold the pose for couple of seconds or as long as one feels comfortable. It is a simple beginner level of Ashtanga yoga asana. This pose helps in loosening a stiffened lower back and stretches the muscles in the chest, shoulders and abdomen to keep them healthy and flexible. This pose elevate the mood too. It increases body flexibility, strengthens the spine and avoids any hunching.

Balasana (Child Pose):

Balasana or child pose resembles the position of the child in mother’s womb. Some say that you will relive your childhood in later years of your life. Practice this in the early morning with an empty stomach or in the evening, four to six hours after having a meal. It is the beginner level of Vinyasa yoga asana. Just need to hold the position for one to three minutes or as long as comfortable. Benefits of this pose are that it helps in release of tensions which are build up in fragile older bodies, specifically in shoulders,chest and in the back. It also helps people to stay alert and aids in steady deep breathing, which calms and leads them to an anxiety-free life.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose):

Shavasana or the corpse pose is a relaxing pose or asana done at the end of the yoga session. Since the body looks like a dead body or a corpse without any movement it is named as shavasana. It is not as easy as it looks or as people think. It is quite challenging because one need to calm down their mind completely and relax their body without fidgeting. It is considered as a beginner level of Ashtanga yoga asana. One should stay in this pose for about 10 to 15 minutes or more, but it is very important to make sure that they don’t fall asleep.

It helps in curing insomnia and common chronic problems in older people. Due to a lack of physical activity some bodies won’t tire enough to sleep well at night, therefore a quick session of yoga followed by sleep is a better remedy. It also helps in improving concentration, enhancing the quality of life. It also has a curing effect for those who are suffering with weak mental health, constipation and diabetes.

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose):

Adho Mukha Svanasana is also known as downward facing dog pose. It is relatively easy pose or asana for the older people to try. It has great impact on ones bowel movement when practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach. It is the one of the beginner level asanas of Ashtanga yoga asana. Holding the pose for a few seconds to a minute or until your body allows has a great impact on the health of older people. It helps in boosting confidence, retains activeness in the body, and as an inverted pose allows more flow of blood to the brain, brightening it with cognition, and making the brain less prone to forgetfulness.

Trikonasasna (Triangle Pose):

Trikonasana or the triangle pose is named for it’s assumed triangular look on the body of the person practicing it. It is quite a simple pose and one among the few poses in yoga which require you to keep your eyes open during the pose. It also helps in attaining free bowel movement when practiced in early stages of the morning. It is the beginner level of Vinyasa yoga asana. Just hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds or even more, depending on how much your body permits. It helps in solving the common issues faced by the older people such as reducing blood pressure, decreasing fat from the waist and thighs and keeping them light and fit. This pose gives stability and balance and prevents fidgeting and imbalance. It also helps in stretching and strengthening the arms and legs which in turn improves quality of life for older people.

About the author:

Vivek Roy is an enthusiastic Yoga blogger and Traveller from India. He has done yoga teacher training in India. He loves to travel and share the knowledge of yoga around the world. For more information about him visit his website.

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