YOGA FOR SENIORS – NEVER TOO LATE TO START

This is for all who think they are too old for any type of exercises. Wrong! You can do yoga at any age, you just have to be careful which type of yoga you choose and you have to work within your limits. But you will see when you practice regularly, you will succeed in doing poses you never thought will be possible. Yoga will help you even age better, enhance flexibility and build strength, and this not only in your body but also in your mind. This is the real beauty of yoga which cannot be achieved with pure physical exercise. And moreover, yoga does not need complicated equipments and it can be done anywhere, in classrooms, at home, during holidays. You only need a yoga mat, that’s all.

Does this sound ideal? Then keep reading below and I promise you will love it!

Benefits of yoga for seniors

  • Yoga helps your joints in keeping them strong and flexible
  • Helps with healthy bone structures and muscles
  • Improves digestion
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Strengthens your whole body and mind
  • Improves your balance and prevents falls
  • Enhances your mood and improves sleep quality
  • Gives you piece of mind and manages depression and anxiety
  • Helps with headaches, migraine, back and neck pains, arthritis and inflammation
  • Manages diabetes
  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces the intake of medicine

These are my best poses for seniors

Mountain Pose

This is the warm up pose. It improves blood circulation and prepares your body for the following poses.

  • Stand with your feet flat on the floor, heels slightly out
  • Bring your hands in front of you, stretch your arms, palms closer together
  • Inhale and stretch your spine. Raise your arms up above your head and stretch as much as you can, lift your ankles and stand on your toes
  • Look up and take some slow breaths
  • Hold for 30 seconds and exhale slowly back to normal standing
  • Try to repeat 5 to 10 times and increase time as much as you feel comfortable

WARRIOR II

Warrior II

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, arms at your sides, turn left
  • On an exhalation step your feet wide apart, heels aligned with each other
  • Right foot out 90 degrees, toes pointing to top of mat
  • Back toes at 45 degrees
  • Lift through arches of your feet, rooting down through your ankles
  • Raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to floor, palms facing down
  • Bend your front knee, knee over front foot, sink your hips
  • Press down through your back foot, back leg straight
  • Torso perpendicular to floor, head over tailbone
  • Gaze out across the tip of your middle finger, drop your shoulders, chest lifted, belly drawn into your spine
  • Hold for up to 1 minute
  • Come out and repeat on the opposite side

CAT COW POSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips
  2. On an inhale, allow your belly to fill with air and lower toward the floor
  3. Look up at the ceiling as you let your head drop back slightly
  4. Keep your head here or lower your chin slightly
  5. On an exhale, turn to look over your right shoulder
  6. Hold your gaze here for a few moments and then return to center
  7. Exhale to look over your left shoulder
  8. Hold that position before returning to center
  9. From here, tuck your chin into your chest as you round your spine
  10. Hold this position, letting your head hang down
  11. Shake your head from side to side and forward and backward
  12. After these variations, continue the fluid motion of cat cow pose for at least 1 minute

Sphinx Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Lie down flat on your stomach with your elbows under your shoulders, pressing into your palms and forearms
  2. Tighten your lower back, buttocks, and thighs to support you as you lift your upper torso and head
  3. Keep your gaze straight ahead and make sure you’re lengthening your spine
  4. Hold this pose for 2 minutes

Child’s Pose


  1. From a kneeling position, sit back on your heels and bring your knees to a comfortable position
  2. Lengthen your spine and walk your hands in front of you, hinging your hips so that you can fold forward
  3. Keep your arms extended in front to support your neck, or you can stack your hands and rest your head on them. This may help to relieve headache tension. If it’s comfortable, bring your arms back to lie along the side of your body
  4. Breathe deeply and focus on letting go of any tension or tightness you’re holding in your body
  5. Rest in this pose for a few minutes

Legs Up The Wall Pose

 

  1. From a seated position, scoot forward on your hips toward a wall. When you are close to the wall, lie back and swing your legs up and against the wall
  2. You can place a folded blanket or pillow under your hips for support
  3. Bring your arms into any comfortable position
  4. You may wish to gently massage your face, neck, and shoulders
  5. Stay in this pose for up to 20 minutes

Corpse Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

The corpse pose also allows your body to relax after a rigorous workout.

  • Lie down with your face upwards, keep your feet slightly apart and stretched out
  • Keep your hands on either side of the body, palms facing upwards. Close your eyes
  • Inhale and exhale deeply, allowing your body to relax completely
  • Stay there till you feel your body is back to normal

Wind relieving pose

The wind relieving pose massages the intestines, helps to release gases and improves digestion.

  • Lie face upwards with your arms on either side and feet stretched out and heels touching each other
  • Bend your knees. Take a deep breath and as you exhale bring the bent knees towards your chest and wrap your arms around it
  • Inhale again and while you exhale lift your head allowing your chin to touch your knees. Hold this position for 60-90 seconds while continuously breathing. Exhale and slowly bring yourself to the initial position. Relax!
  • Repeat this asana for at least 7-10 times, while leaving a 15 second interval

Downward Facing Dog to stretch your hamstrings     

                                                                         

This is a great stretch for the whole body, and especially the large muscles in your lower back

  • Start being on your hands and knees
  • Hands in front of your shoulders
  • Press back
  • Raise your knees from the floor
  • Lift your tailbone up
  • Push your heels toward the floor

Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and repeat 5 times

 

 

Triangle Pose

 

 

  • Stand with your legs 3 feet apart, right toes to the right and left toes slightly inwards
  • Inhale and press the left hip out and bring both arms to the right parallel to the floor
  • Exhale and rotate your arms, raise your left arm up and bring the right hand to the right leg, with the palms facing forward
  • Press into the feet, pull up the knee caps, keeping the legs strong. Reach the finger tips away from each other, bringing the arms into one straight line with the shoulders stacked on top of each other. Press the left hip forward and the right hip back
  • Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths
  • To release: inhale and reach the raised hand up towards the ceiling as you press down into the feet using the whole body to lift back

Repeat on the other side

 

Chair Yoga – For a very comfortable start

If you do not have time for a classical yoga session and you want to have a very easy way to find out about the benefits of yoga, please continue reading:

INTRODUCTION OF CHAIR YOGA

As the name suggests, you only need a chair for this practice, it can be done anywhere, even on a wheelchair or on a couch.

Here are some poses you can practice in a row or also separately:

Deep Breathing

  • Sit upright and lean back comfortably, feet on the floor or on yoga blocks, close your eyes
  • Hands on thighs
  • Inhale and count to four, hold your breath for the same time, exhale slowly
  • Repeat for several times

Alternative Nostril Breathing

  • Sit upright and lean back comfortably, feet on the floor or on yoga blocks, close your eyes
  • Rest your left hand on your thigh
  • With your right hand put your index and middle finger above your nose and your thumb on the right nostril and the ring finger on the left nostril
  • Close the right side of your nose with your thumb and breathe in through the left nostril
  • On the inhale, close off your nose with your ring finger and thumb and hold your breath for a short moment
  • Release your thumb and exhale right. Stop for a moment at the end of the exhale
  • Then do the other side
  • Repeat for several times

Seated Spinal Twist

  • Take a deep breath in and sit as tall as you can elongating your spine
  • On an exhalation twist to your right as much as you can
  • Bring your left hand to your right knee or thigh, right hand to the back of the chair
  • Look to the right, take deep breaths
  • Inhale and unwind
  • Do the other side

Heel Lifts

  • Sit up tall and take some deep breaths, hands on your thighs
  • On an inhalation press into the balls of your feet and lift your heels as far as you can
  • On an exhalation lower your heels
  • Repeat for several times

Ankle Circles

  • Extend your right leg in front of you
  • Circle your ankles 5 times in each direction
  • Bring your foot down
  • Take some breaths and repeat on the other side for as many times as you want

Toe Lifts

  • On an inhalation press into the heels and lift your toes as far as you can
  • On an exhalation lower your toes
  • Repeat for several times

Hip Stretch


  • Sit up tall and take some deep breaths
  • Cross your right leg over your left thigh, flex your right foot
  • Hands on right knee and foot
  • Lengthen your spine, breathe deeply and hinge forward from your waist, chest towards legs, hold
  • Unwind on an inhalation and repeat with the other foot

Goddess Pose

  • Put your feet wide out as far as you can, press knees with your hands towards the back of the chair
  • Sit straight and lengthen your spine, hinge forward from your waist
  • Repeat several times

Rag Doll Pose


  • Place your feet hip wide and bend forward from your hips, elbows on knees
  • Bring your head down and relax slightly moving from side to side
  • Hold for some breaths and repeat several times

Is there anyhting else you want to know? What will stop you from starting today?

All you need is determination, a yoga mat, some time and then you are good to go.

You will be surprised to see the results and the joy of doing yoga regularly! 

6 thoughts on “YOGA FOR SENIORS – NEVER TOO LATE TO START

  1. drinkteahub Reply

    This is a very useful and timely post. My mother suffers from fibromyalgia and her doctor has suggested that she try to be more active and do something like yoga or pilates but she is very much of the mind that that sort of thing is only for young people and she wouldn’t possibly be able to do that. Although she’s right in the sense that she couldn’t do the poses modelled by the younger people in the photos, there is nothing stopping her attempting chair yoga. I will print out your page and show it to her and encourage her to try. Thanks very much for sharing.

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      I am really glad to hear that I might be able to help your mother! A lot of elder people do think they will not be able to do yoga poses but you can always start with very easy movements and you will be surprised how far you can go. All the best and thank you for your comment.

  2. shariful islam Reply

    Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .Exercise is very important for keeping our body fit and exercising is very beneficial for the body.I myself like to wake up every morning and exercise a lot.And yoga exercises are very useful for seniors because yoga exercises help keep hair strong and flexible.After reading your article I found out more about yoga and I will try these exercises and I hope I get well.Will share be a new exprience.

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Thank you for your comment and I think especially older people should be encouraged to start with any kind of exercise and yoga is ideal as you can determine in which way you will start, and even the smallest steps will bring great results.

  3. Shanta Rahman Reply

    Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us and I love yoga and I do regular yoga and it refreshes my health. As I practice it regularly, I get a good result that I could not have imagined .YOGA helps a lot to increase flexibility and build strength .yoga has helped me a lot in improving my digestion, controlling blood pressure, strengthening bone structures and muscles, headaches, migraine, back and neck pain, arthritis and inflammation. But one of the new things I learned through your article is how to do yoga in a chair which is very useful information for me. 

    I will definitely try to do this and share my new experience with you soon and I would like to share it on my social media if you give permission because I think it is important to know this new thing.

    • Angelika Sesterheim Post authorReply

      Thank you very much for your comment and of course you can share it on social media and this will hopefully spread the world to the older population and give some encouragement to start with yoga.

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