One of my friends said “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga”….
Saying you’re not FLEXIBLE enough for YOGA is like saying you’re too DIRTY to take a SHOWER. The word FLEXIBLE could be replaced with OLD, TIRED, MAD, SHORT or TALL. You get the picture. They are all just excuses. Especially as we age and our body starts to tighten up, yoga can help bring openness and relief to aching joints and muscles. Senior Yoga and Chair Yoga are excellent ways to bring movement and relief to our aging parents and friends who may be stuck at home or in a chair.
I strongly believe that movement if often the best medicine of all. It can change our mood, get our energy flowing, produce endorphins and create a sense of well-being. Just like in the “Dog Whisperer” where Caesar Milan counsels dog owners to give their pets enough exercise/movement so they will be calm, us humans need movement so we too can relax and let go of tension, aggression, or whatever ails us. It changes our perception from the inside out, using our own bodies and internal chemistry.
Here’s a few ideas to bring yoga into your life today…..
As you begin, close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Lengthen the inhale and the exhale to matching lengths. Pause for a millisecond at the end of each breath. Notice any tension in the body and breathe into those spots. Relax the jaw, the tongue, and the skin on the forehead.
In a sturdy chair with a lumbar support:
1. Reach arms overhead and lean back against the back of the chair. Keep feet firmly planted on the floor, sits bones sinking into chair, and lift heart up towards ceiling. Hold for 3 deep breaths.
2. Take feet and knees wider than the hips and bend forward rounding spine over thighs, letting your arms hang by your sides. Hold for 3 deep breaths.
3. Sitting tall with feet hip width, take right ankle over left knee. As you exhale lean forward as far as you can until you feel a nice stretch in the outer right hip. Hold for 3 deep breaths. Switch sides.
1. Roll shoulder joints in a circular rotation backwards and forwards eight times each.
2. Look to the right as far as you can, then float head to the left as far as you can. Repeat five times.
3. Sweep arms out to the side and up on the inhale, out and back down on the exhale. Repeat five times.
4. Roll hips to the right five times in a circular motion, then roll to the left five times.
After you are complete take a moment to sit in silence with your eyes closed and notice the new sensations moving through you and feel the pathways of energy open up.
tags: senior yoga