International Day of Yoga: 5 Easy Poses for Seniors

Senior woman stretching doing exercise class with laptop at home

Namaste! Did you know that today is the International Day of Yoga? What better way to celebrate than practicing some fun yoga poses in the comfort of your own home? The following exercises, recommended by our in-home caregivers in NJ, are low-impact and easy for most independent seniors to follow. Seniors who engage in yoga on a daily basis can gain strength and flexibility while also boosting their mental health. So, let’s get out our yoga mats – here are 5 beginner yoga poses for seniors.

Safety note: seniors with mobility issues should consult a primary care doctor or professional trainer before performing any new exercise routines. 

#1 – Mountain Pose

 This pose might just look like standing, but it’s much more than that! Mountain pose focuses on good posture and alignment by engaging all the muscles in the body, especially the legs.

Steps:

  • Stand tall, keeping your feet together (big toes and heels touching). Your toes should be spread to keep good balance.
  • Engage the stomach muscles, pulling them in firmly.
  • Engage your leg muscles, with your knees actively pulling up and your thigh muscles pulling in firmly.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back and down, without letting your chest puff outwards.
  • Hold the pose for 5-8 slow breaths.

#2 – Bird Dog Pose 

This is a very good, low-impact senior yoga pose for back and abdominal strength.

Steps:

  • Start on all fours, with your arms straight below your shoulders and your knees below your hips, looking down at the floor without dipping or raising your neck out of alignment with your spine.
  • Raise your right leg as straight as you can behind you, with your toes pointing towards the floor.
  • Now raise your left arm straight ahead of you, with your palm out as if you were shaking someone’s hand.
  • Hold for 5-8 slow breaths, then repeat with the left leg and right arm.

#3 – Downward Facing Dog

 This well-known yoga pose doubles as a great workout! The idea is to create a perfect 90-degree angle with your body, while keeping your hands and feet on the floor.

Steps:

  • Start on your hands and knees, the same way you start bird dog pose.
  • Tuck your toes under, then lift your hips backward and up, as high as you can. Glance back at your feet to make sure they are hip-width apart and parallel.
  • Keep your arms straight and your palms flat and pull your shoulders flat onto your back.
  • Try to place your heels down to the floor (this will get easier as you practice).
  • Remember to engage your abdominal muscles and your leg muscles to keep you steady and lifted.
  • Hold for 5-8 slow breaths.

#4 – Cobbler’s Pose

This pose is very similar to what young toddlers do when they’re playing with their toes, but as we get older, we lose this flexibility. This senior yoga pose helps open up the hip muscles, build strength, and even massage your feet.

Steps:

  • Start in a seated position, bringing the soles of your feet together in front of you and pressing them against one another. 
  • Sit up tall and keep your back as straight as possible as you move forward towards your toes. All while keeping your shoulder blades flat against your back and away from your ears.
  • Reach forward with your hands and grab onto your feet. You can now massage your feet gently while in this position, or just relax and try to come forward without rounding your back.
  • Hold for 5-8 slow breaths.

#5 – Savasana

This is everyone’s favorite yoga pose because it’s all about relaxation – pure and simple! It helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and muscle tension.

Steps:

  • Lie on your back with your feet wider than hip-distance apart, so your feet fall out to the sides.
  • Move your arms to a 45-degree angle with the palms up, so you aren’t touching any other part of your body.
  • Keep your spine neutral by slightly tucking your chin towards your chest, and make sure your shoulders are flat against the mat.
  • Completely relax, focusing only on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
  • Stay in savasana for 5 minutes.

We hope these poses help seniors enjoy the International Day of Yoga. More importantly, we hope they help seniors discover a new way to stay fit, independent, and healthy!

Need help performing yoga at home? Our NJ caregivers can help.

 United Methodist Communities HomeWorks is a leading in-home care agency for seniors in New Jersey. Our aides can assist with daily tasks, activities of daily living, errands, physical exercise like yoga, and light housekeeping. 

 Contact us today to find out more about how HomeWorks caregivers deliver the exceptional care and companionship that your loved one deserves. You can also visit our website at:

https://umcommunities.org/homeworks/senior-care-new-jersey/

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