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Yoga: Yoga poses for greater flexibility in the elderly

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Yoga can help improve overall well-being

As we age, our bones lose density and our joints stiffen. Osteoporosis becomes a problem for some people. A gentle yoga practice is safe for people with osteoporosis and can be very beneficial in preventing or slowing bone density loss and reducing bone and joint discomfort. Regular joint movement can help minimize joint stiffness and tenderness.

Yoga also slows down the aging process. Strength and relaxation, the two cornerstones of yoga, are the secrets to delaying the aging process. Yoga slows your heart rate and increases blood flow by calming your breathing. In addition, it increases your strength, which prevents age-related muscle loss. In fact, yoga can stop muscle loss in its tracks. Read on as we share yoga poses that are good for the elderly.

Try these poses to improve flexibility when you’re older:

1. Adho Mukha Swanasana

  • Lie flat on the floor face down
  • Slowly raise your torso, forming a mountain-like structure with your body
  • Your palms need to be further apart and reach outwards (compared to your shoulders)
  • On the other hand, your feet must be placed next to each other
  • At this point, the only body parts touching the ground should be your palms and feet
  • Your face needs to be pointing in and down at the same angle as your arms
  • Your body must form a triangle (your hands, hips and feet are the corners)
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat at least 10 times

2. Salamba Bhujangasana

  • Lie on the floor face down
  • Now place your palms and forearms at your sides
  • Slowly lift your chest off the floor
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and release
  • Repeat 3-4 times a day

3. Virabhadrasana

  • Get into a stable standing position by spreading your feet on one leg
  • Rotate your right foot 90 degrees to the right and slightly inward with your left foot
  • Place your hands firmly on the floor and your crown or top of your head extended, and place your hands on your waist
  • Take a deep breath, and then, on the exhale, bend your right knee so it’s parallel to the ankle underneath
  • Rotate your head over your right hand and spread your arms from your shoulders
  • Hold the position while taking five full breaths. Feel the power of the pose
  • Press on your right foot, straighten your right leg, and rotate your feet back to center to release
  • Get back into a relaxed position
  • Repeat on each side

4. Tadasana

  • Stand up straight with your legs the same distance as your shoulders
  • Raise your hands to the ceiling
  • Open your palms and reach up as far as you can
  • At this point, join your hands and clasp them, forcing your palms to face the ceiling
  • You are encouraged to look up
  • Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 3-5 times

5. Balasana

  • Sit up straight with your legs folded
  • At this point, your feet should be pointing up
  • Now slowly bend your upper body forward on the floor
  • At this point, your arms should also be stretched out in front of you as much as possible
  • Your face should be facing the floor as should your palms
  • Calves, forehead, and palms should all be touching the floor in this position
  • Because it only stretches your body and is a rest position, it provides comfort and relaxation
  • Hold this position for 10-15 seconds and do 4-5 sets daily.

Add these yoga poses to your daily routine to improve flexibility, bone strengthening, and overall mental and physical health.

Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides general information only. It in no way replaces a qualified medical report. Always consult a specialist or your GP for more information. NDTV takes no responsibility for this information.

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