Yoga Routine to Get You Started - Part 2

Yoga Routine to Get You Started  - Part 2

If you started practicing Yoga to build strength, agility and improve balance, you may have discovered that you’re also sleeping better and are in a better mood! In its purest form, Yoga helps rejuvenate mind, body and spirit. Simply setting aside time in our busy lives to regroup, in itself can start us on the road to enjoying the mental and spiritual as well as the physical benefits in the practice of Yoga.

Exercises should not be painful -- talk with your Doctor before starting a new form of exercise. Many seniors’ communities have fitness centers perfect for meeting with a workout partner! They may even host Yoga classes -- a certified instructor will help with the correct form.  

Try the following routine incorporating stretches and poses from my previous post.  

Yoga breathing
Start your routine sitting comfortably, spine straight and legs relaxed, on a Yoga mat (or a chair) focusing on slow deep breathing for five minutes. This helps relax the body and mind as well as oxygenate the blood.  

Mountain pose

  • In this simple standing exercise -- feet at hips width, hands at your sides looking straight ahead, imagine a string pulling you upward from the top of your head.
  • Take 20 deep breaths in this position and then relax.     

Warrior

  • Stand with legs 3 - 4 feet apart, right foot outward forming a 45-degree angle behind the left heel.
  • Relax shoulders, with hands at sides.
  • Slowly extend arms out to the side, palms down and gradually raise arms over your head touching palms (arm positions vary in this pose)
  • Lean slightly back and gaze upward.
  • Hold for one minute then switch legs and repeat.

Tree

  • Stand with arms at your sides, weight on left leg
  • Lift your right foot placing the sole of your foot along left thigh.
  • Maintaining balance, place palms together in front of you.
  • As you inhale, extend arms upward over your shoulders with palms facing each other
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds, switch feet and repeat.
  • To make this pose easier, place the sole of your right foot against your left ankle with toes touching the floor. As you develop balance, gradually raise the position of your foot. 

Triangle

  • Place left foot forward and right foot behind about 3 - 4 feet.
  • Turn your right foot to forms a 90-degree angle with your left heel.
  • Stretch arms out to the side, hips squared forward.
  • Exhale and bend forward from the hips rotating to the left keeping belly tight.
  • Touch the floor outside your left foot with your right hand and stretch your left arm over your head, looking upward.
  • Hold for three to five breaths.
  • Slowly return to a standing position, switch sides and repeat.   

Seated twist

  • Sit on Yoga mat with legs extended to the front.
  • Cross right foot over left thigh (left knee bent) keeping right knee pointed toward the ceiling.
  • Bring left elbow to the outside of your right knee and place right hand behind you on the floor
  • Twist to the right as far as you can and hold for a minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Plank

  • Lie face down on the floor, inhale and slowly raise your body into a ‘push-up’ position.
  • Start with shoulder blades against your back, then slowly extend them away from the spine while stretching your collarbones outward.
  • Keep neck, back and legs aligned and look straight ahead at the floor.
  • Hold this position for up to a minute, or longer if you can.

Child’s pose

  • Sit up comfortably on top of your heels.
  • Slowly roll forward bringing forehead to rest on the floor ahead of you.
  • Lower your chest as close as possible toward the floor, extend arms reaching as far to the front as you can, keeping butt on heels.
  • Hold and breathe slowly
  • This is a good relaxing stretch to end your Yoga session.

Written by Alice Lucette
Image by shed of stock.xchng

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