Unlike other workout programs like Gymming, Zumba or Aerobic exercises, yoga for old people is an ideal choice. As I always say Yoga is for everyone, and it is absolutely true.
Have you ever noticed old people in the fields or near the Ganga in Rishikesh practicing Pranayama or an asana? It is an absolute delight to watch elderly people doing yoga.
In today's blog, we'll go through some yoga asanas and pranayama which are best for our old folks. But first, let’s talk about some advantages of practicing yoga at old age.
Advantage of Yoga for Old People
As we all know, old age is not easy to live, especially when you don’t have a healthy body. With a healthy body, elderly people need balance among their body, mind, and soul too.
Therefore yoga can be the best friend of old people during this phase of their life. Regular practice of yoga can be enormously helpful in their day to day life. It will give them strength and make them happy from within.
The practice of yoga makes their body stretchable strong and keeps their heart strong. Furthermore, yoga facilitates them to cope with mental stress and anxiety.
Thus, there are numerous advantages of practicing yoga besides the aforementioned benefits.
Fit in Yoga in Everyday Life
For regular practice, you don’t have to make yoga like a burden or duty that you cannot avoid. You can enjoy yoga practice by incorporating it into your everyday life.
There are some ways by which you can be healthy, fit and can easily include yoga in your everyday life.
Take a walk
I know walking is not typically yoga but I believe in the concept Everything Is Yoga. And what can be better to take a walk before your yoga practice?
Walking is not probably given importance similar to running but it is no less beneficial than it (Well it depends on your goals). Regular walking is a good way to keep your heart pumped up and make your legs strong.
Other than that, unlike running you don’t need a lot of space to walk. You can walk anywhere; in the garden, corridor, balcony, stairs or in the sideways. Also, if you got some friends, you can go on a group walking and have fun too. Besides, you can go on a walk anytime without worrying about any injuries.
Pranayama is one of the significant aspects of yoga. In pranayama, control over your breath is quite important as in yoga. Since breathing affects the functioning of the heart and brain directly, it is considered quite helpful in old age.
Though one can do Pranayama anytime, ideally it should be performed in the morning. It can be performed indoors or outdoors, alone or in a group, or during traveling anywhere. It stays with you wherever you go.
My favorite thing about yoga is that you don’t need anything to practice it. You just need you. Therefore you can do yoga asanas anytime you want.
You can practice yoga in a park, in your room, in your balcony, in your roof or literally anywhere. So all you need is you and little effort to practice yoga asanas and adapt them in your life.
Yoga Asanas and Pranayama For Old People
Now let us look at some yoga asanas and pranayama that helps senior citizens with their overall health.
Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
This asana is quite good for balancing the body and to improve the ability to focus. Vrikshasana also strengthens leg and lower belly.
- Stand straight, and put one foot on the opposite inner thigh (as per your comfort, keep the foot either above or below the knee)
- Stay in the position and join your palms as in Añjali Mudrā (as we do in Namaste)
- Hold this position for 6-8 seconds and come back to the initial position
- Repeat 8-10 times
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Uttanasana stretches the hamstrings, shins hips and back. It improves digestion by providing massage to the abdominal organs.
Also, if you cannot bend completely, do not exert your body. Remember, do as much as your body can bear or skip the asana.
- Stand straight, put your hands on your hips and inhale
- Exhale then slightly curve your knees and bend forward while moving down through the hips
- Keep your hands on the floor, or next to your feet
- Expand your chest to extend the spine and make sure to always look in the forward direction
- Hold this position for few seconds
- Get back in the initial position by rising very slowly
Viparita Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose)
Viparita Namaskarasana helps to cleanse the negative energy around you. It alleviates fatigue and tension, strengthens the wrist muscles, and let loses the tension in shoulders.
- Take the position of Tadasana
- Now relax the shoulders and slightly bend your knees
- Bring your arms at your back and join your palms
- Check that the fingers are pointing downwards
- Turn the fingertips inwards in the direction of the backbone while breathing, and bring them to the upward direction
- Press the palms tightly against each other and keep the knees a little bent
- Close your eyes and hold this position for a few seconds
- Turn the fingertips down bit by bit while breathing out
- Lastly, slowly return to Tadasana
Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)
Bhastrika Pranayama helps to invigorate the mind, improves immunity and functioning nervous system. Besides, its regimented practice provides relaxation in anxiety and depression.
- Sit down in padmasana and keep your spine straight
- Take a deep inhalation through your nose and release the breath after five seconds
- Repeat this few times
- Afterward, begin breathing out fast and vigorously through your nose. Breathe in the same way
- Try to get your breath from your diaphragm
- Before doing another round, take a few normal breaths
- Do again 6-8 times
Anuloma Viloma (Nadhi Sodhana)
Anuloma Viloma improves lungs efficiency and makes the memory sharp. Besides, it also aids in respiratory-related diseases like asthma and bronchitis.
- Sit down in padmasana and place your hands in your knees
- Block your right nostril with the right thumb and inhale slowly through the left nostril
- After few seconds, close your left nostril with the ring finger without unblocking the right nostril
- Hold your breath for few seconds
- Let go your thumb from the right nostril and exhale through it quite slowly
- Remember to take a pause before inhaling again through the same side
- Repeat the procedure with the left nostril
- Do a complete cycle of breathing in and out from both the nostrils
- Do again 8-10 cycles daily
Important Points to Remember
- Do not force any asana on your body. If you feel uneasy, do the easy version or just skip it
- Know what works for you like walking, or brisk walking, or asana or pranayama, or literally anything else
- Increase the level of your practice gradually, do not start with too much
- The most important point, if you have certain sickness or injury do consult your doctor