Aging is not an easy process for either men or women. However, for women, aging can bring its own challenges that most men may not face. From declining bone density and lower muscle mass to menopause and arthritis, your body might have to cross many hurdles on a daily basis. Though yoga cannot bring back the vitality of youth, it can surely make life easier and more comfortable as you age.
Benefits Of Yoga For Women Over 60
Builds Strength: When you’re over 60, the casual morning walk may not be enough to keep your body healthy. Doing yoga poses slowly and gently builds strength without the risk of injury.
Better Flexibility: Joint ache is a common problem that occurs with aging because your joints become stiffer. Yoga gives your body the stretch it needs so that your range of your movements improves.
Smoother Transition Into Menopause: Doing yoga brings balance and harmony to the different systems in your body. Menopausal symptoms like insomnia, weight gain, dry skin, irritability can be greatly reduced by practicing yoga.
Increased Bone Strength: Aging is especially difficult for women who suffer from bone conditions like osteoporosis. Yoga can help to slow down the rate at which you are experiencing loss of bone density.
Mental Health: Memory loss and forgetfulness can also be reduced with yoga. Poses like the Downward Facing Dog help increase blood flow to the brain so that it can remain healthy and sharp.
Doing yoga is an experience in itself, and no matter how much you read about all the great benefits, you won’t realize how significantly yoga can impact your life until you start doing it. So here are a few yoga poses you can start with to begin your journey. Please make sure you try these poses under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
Yoga Poses For Women Over 60
1. Standing Forward Bending Pose
- Take a standing position; keep your feet and shoulder distance apart and parallel to each other. Press your feet down into the ground and ground yourself powerfully.
- Now breathe out and gently bend down from the hips (not the waist) and place your chest and stomach on your thighs.
- If you are a beginner, you ought to bend your knees slightly to accomplish this. If your knees are bent, make sure that they’re straight over your toes.
- Slowly begin to straighten out your legs, however, check that your chest and abdomen never leave your thighs.
- Now elevate your hips as you straighten through your hamstring muscles all whereas pressing your heels into the ground.
2. Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
- As you breathe out, lift the hips up, straightening the knees and elbows, form an inverted V-shape with the body.
- Hands are shoulder width apart, feet are hip width apart and parallel to each other. Toes point straight ahead.
- Press your hands into the ground. Widen through the shoulder blades. Keep the neck lengthened by touching the ears to the inner arms. Hold the downward dog pose and take long deep breaths. Look towards the navel.
- Exhale. Bend the knees, return to table pose. Relax.
3. Cobra Pose
- Start on your tummy, rest your forehead on the mat. Take your palms to the mat beneath your shoulders and spread your fingers nice and wide.
- Take your shoulder blades down your back towards your hips while you squeeze or cuddle your elbows into your ribs.
- Press firmly into the mat with the tops of your feet, and the pubic bone. Inhale and push the top of the head forward and lift your chest off the mat.
- If that’s comfortable, engage the abdominals. Take the navel in towards your spine to protect your lower back. Start to press through the hands and using your back muscles lift further toward the sky. Straighten the arms.
- Stay for a few breaths and lower slowly, the same way you came into the pose.
4. Warrior I Pose
- Stand straight with the legs spread out. Let there be a distance of at least 3 feet between the two feet.
Raise the hands above the head and the palms facing each other.
- Turn to the left and slowly rotate the left foot about 90 degrees to the left so that it is aligned with the chest. Turn the right foot slightly (around 15 degrees) towards the inside.
- Bend the left knee till the thighs are parallel to the ground. The right leg should remain straight.
- The head, the chest, the left knee and the left foot should be aligned in one direction. Now you may bring the palms closer so that they touch each other.
- Retain this position for few breaths, which should be slow and deep. To release the pose, raise yourself up and straighten the left knee. Turn to the right to go back to the original position. Repeat this on the other side too.
5. Mountain Pose
- From a standing position, bring the feet together or hip width apart, parallel. Lift up the toes, spread them wide and place them back on the floor. Feel your weight evenly balanced through the bottom of each foot, not leaning forward or back.
- Pull up the knee caps, squeeze the thighs and tuck the tailbone slightly under. Feel the hips aligned directly over the ankles. The legs are straight, but the knees are not locked back.
- Inhale and lift out of the waist, pressing the crown of the head up towards the ceiling, feeling the spine long and straight.
- Exhale and drop the shoulders down and back as you reach the fingertips towards the floor. Gently press the chest/sternum towards the front of the room.
- Continuing to reach out through the fingers, inhale the arms up, turning the palms shoulder height, bringing the arms into an H position.
- Exhale relax the shoulders down from the ears while still reaching the crown and fingers up. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.
6. Bound Angle Pose
- Begin seated with your spine straight and your legs extended in front of you on the mat. Rest your arms at your sides with your palms on the mat.
- end your knees and draw your heels in toward your pelvis. Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop open to both sides. It’s important to allow your knees to drop open only as far as they will go — never press on your knees in this pose.
- Clasp your big toes with your first two fingers. Press the outer edges of your feet firmly together, and also press them firmly into the floor.
- Sit up straight. Extend through the length of your entire spine through the crown of your head.
Gaze softly straight ahead, or at the tip of your nose.
- Hold the pose for up to five minutes. To release the pose, first release the clasp from your toes. Then, gently lift your knees and extend your legs once again along the floor and come back to the starting pose.
7. Seated Forward Bend Pose
- Begin seated with both legs extended straight out in front of you, spine long. Press your heels actively down into the ground and flex your feet.
- Inhale to extend your arms up overhead and sit tall, rooting through the sitting bones and lifting out through the crown of the head.
- As you exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward over your legs, maintaining a sense of length along your spine. Lead with your heart and let the hands hold on to whatever is accessible while keeping a flat upper back: the calves, ankles, or perhaps even the outer edges of the feet.
- Avoid the tendency to collapse the chest and round the spine here in an effort to move deeper into your fold. Keep your shoulders back and relaxed away from your ears, broaden across the collarbones, and reach your sternum forward toward your toes.
- With every inhale, find more length along your spine and front body; with every exhale, move more deeply into your forward fold.
- Remain in the pose anywhere from 5 to 20 deep breaths. On an inhale, slowly make your way back to an upright position.
8. Child Pose
- Sit on your heels on a yoga mat or on the floor. Either keep your knees slightly apart. Slowly, bend forward by lowering your forehead to touch the floor, exhaling as you do so.
- Keep your arms alongside your body. Make sure that your palms are facing up. You can also reach out your arms towards the front of the yoga mat, palms placed facing down on the mat.
- Now that you are in this pose, gently press your chest on the thighs. Hold for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Regulate your breath.
- To release, place your palms under the shoulders and gradually raise your upper body to return to the sitting position on the heels while inhaling. Do this very slowly as if uncurling the spine.
9. Corpse Pose
- Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Rest your hands about six inches away from your body with your palms up. Let your feet drop open. Close your eyes. You may want to cover your body with a blanket.
- Let your breath happen naturally. Allow your body to feel heavy on the ground. Working from the soles of your feet up to the crown of your head, consciously release every body part, organ, and cell.
- Relax your face. Let your eyes drop deep into their sockets. Invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul. Stay in Shavasana for five minutes for every 30 minutes of your practice.
- To exit the pose, first begin to deepen your breath. Bringing gentle movement and awareness back to your body, wiggling your fingers and toes. Roll to your right side and rest there for a moment.
- With an inhalation, gently press yourself into a comfortable seated position. Let your head be the last thing to come into place.