Yoga For Seniors | Benefits, Styles and
5 Poses to Get Started

yoga for seniors

Yoga is about more than the physical practice of fast-paced asanas (or poses) that are designed to make us sweat and are catered towards those looking for a workout.

There are many styles of yoga that are ideal for seniors to practice and can help them to care for their bodies after retirement. Whether you’re physically fit or looking to start a movement practice for the first time, yoga is a wonderful place to begin.

In this post, we’re going to look at the benefits of yoga, the best styles of yoga for seniors, and 5 easy poses to get you started.

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Yoga for seniors PDF

7 benefits of yoga for seniors

Getting older is an ideal time to try something new - after all, we tend to have a lot more time on our hands after retirement! Here are a few of the benefits that you can experience when attending regular yoga classes:

1. Stronger bones

Practicing yoga can increase bone density and, in turn, ayudar a prevenir la osteoporosis, - a condition that causes the bones to become brittle. By practicing yoga, we also improve our balance which makes it less likely that older people will fall and damage their bones.

2. Lower stress

yoga stress

El yoga es una manera fantástica de calmar el sistema nervioso y hacer que nuestro cuerpo vuelva a dar una respuesta de “descansar y digerir”. Como resultado, esto puede reduce hypertension and the need to take medications that relieve it.

3. Reduced anxiety

The calming practice of yoga is a great way to reduce anxiety, lower your heart rate, and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.When we’re less anxious we can breathe better, sleep better, and control our mood.

4. Better sleep

Sleep problems are common for older people due to the discomfort that often comes with an aging body and the need to urinate more frequently during the night. Insomnia can also occur due to stress and a lack of activity during the day. El yoga es una forma segura de fomentar un mejor descanso nocturno. Not only is it an effective practice for relaxing the body, but you’ll learn breathing techniques designed to help you relax that you can use to help you get to sleep at night.

5. Reduced risk of injury

When we practice yoga, our bodies become stronger, more flexible, and better able to move. As a result, it’s less likely that we’ll fall and hurt ourselves or overstretch and cause damage to our muscles and joints. Yoga also increases bodily awareness, which allows us to better understand our physical limitations as well as how we need to treat our bodies on any given day.

6. Alleviate pain

It’s no secret that aging tends to invite some kind of pain. Whether muscular pain, joint pain, or chronic pain, yoga can help to alleviate the discomfort, así como enseñarte formas sencillas de respirar a pesar del dolor.

7. “Mindfulness”

Mindfulness is a beneficial practice for people of all ages and can be something that goes hand in hand with aging. When we practice mindfulness, we become more aware of our surroundings, less dependent on technology, and more connected to ourselves. We practice mindfulness in yoga through intentional movement, meditation, pranayama (or controlled breathing). (o respiración controlada).

The best types of yoga for seniors

Gentle yoga

Gentle yoga is an accessible style of yoga that’s perfect for seniors to practice. In gentle yoga classes, movements will be straightforward with lots of props available to use as support;

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga is a popular style of yoga to practice as a beginner. As a senior, hatha yoga is best if you’re already somewhat active and physically fit.

Chair yoga

This style of yoga is practiced exactly as you would assume - on a chair! Using a chair makes yoga poses much more accessible for those who may struggle a little with balance or have more limited mobility. It’s also a great option if you’re recovering from an injury.

Restorative yoga

This style of yoga is practiced exactly as you would assume - on a chair! Using a chair makes yoga poses much more accessible for those who may struggle a little with balance or have more limited mobility. It’s also a great option if you’re recovering from an injury.

Meditation and Pranayama

yoga for seniors

Meditation and pranayama (or controlled breathing). are both great practices if you’re looking for more of a mental and mindful practice than a physical practice. Meditation classes will usually involve soft music, a comfortable place to sit, and the opportunity to be guided through a relaxing meditation.

It's on pranayama (or controlled breathing). Pranayama is the practice of controlled breathing and is a wonderful way to increase lung function,encourage relaxation, and reduce stress.

How to practice - 5 basic poses to get started

Here are 5 basic poses that you can get started with today! Remember to always listen to your body and practice only when it feels comfortable, and it's always recommendable to speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise regime.

1. Tree pose

Tree Pose is a great way to improve flexibility and increase strength in the ankle joints.

Start by standing on your mat within reach of a wall, table, or chair.

Bring all of your weight into your left leg before lifting your right heel to rest on your left ankle - keeping your toes on the floor. If you feel able to balance, you might like to bring the sole of your right foot to rest on the calf of your left leg.

Stay here for 3-5 breaths, using the chair, wall, or table for support if needed. Otherwise, bring your hands to your chest in a prayer position.

Repeat the other side.

2. Warrior 2

Warrior II is great for increasing bone density - like all standing poses - and lower body strength.

Start by standing at the front of your mat. Take a big step back with your right foot and turn the right toes out to 90 degrees - pointing towards the side of your mat. Take a deep bend in the front knee and lift your arms out to either side, reaching in opposite directions. Look over your left fingertips, engage your core, and keep your back leg straight.
You might like to use a large exercise ball or chair underneath the glutes to make the pose more accessible.

Stay for 3-5 breaths before repeating on the other side.

3. Bridge pose

Bridge Pose is a mild inversion that helps to alleviate stress, stretch the chest, and strengthen the glutes.

Start by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring your heels close enough to your glutes that you're able to touch them with your fingertips. Then take a deep breath in and on an exhale lift your hips up to the sky. Squeeze the glutes to keep them engaged and keep your hands resting on the floor on either side of you.

Stay here for 2-3 breaths, repeating 2-3 times.

4. Plank pose

Plank Pose is an effective way to strengthen the shoulders and abdominal muscles.

Start on all fours with your wrists placed on the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Step your feet back as you straighten your knees so that your legs are straight and your lower back is lifted. Bring your knees back down to the ground from here if it’s easier for you. You might also like to come down onto your forearms.

Stay here for around 30 seconds, trying to increase the length of time each time you practice.

5. Legs up the wall

This pose is a great way to relax and give your heart a rest.

Start by laying on the floor with the right side of your body against a wall. From here, turn to bring your glutes against the wall and your legs up onto the wall.

Stay here for around 5 minutes..

The takeaway

You’re never too old to practice yoga! With so many styles of yoga that are accessible for people of all ages and abilities, you’re sure to find something that suits your lifestyle, your needs, and your body.


Keira is a mother, certified yoga teacher (250h vinyasa +30h yin yoga), yin yogaand writer from the UK, now living in France with her partner and 3 year old daughter. She loves sharing yoga as a way to connect with your body and relax. 

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Disclaimer:  Consult your doctor or other medical professional before beginning any new exercise regime to see if it is appropriate for your needs. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. See the full disclaimer.

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