Yoga has several health benefits for all ages, including stress and anxiety reduction, mood improvement, increasing range of motion, and reducing risk for heart conditions, diabetes, and even cancer. Taking the time to do a weekly practice connects mind to body through focus on one’s breathing and actions. It is an excellent routine for seniors to get into, especially those who spend most of their time at home or at a retirement residence, because it can be adapted to one’s physical capabilities and energy levels with no need to travel. Seniors are often sedentary, even when they’re still capable of a range of motions and stretching abilities.Yoga done while sitting in a chair can help muscles and joints soften. The aging process can become more manageable.With the help of a Physiotherapist, a yoga practice can be adapted to your loved one’s situation wherever they call home.

It is important to consult with your family member’s dedicated healthcare professional before starting any exercise routine or changes in physical activities. Physiotherapists can help with adapting a gentle yoga routine right in the home where they can maintain the highest level of comfort. Families in the Toronto area can visit Integracare to find quality and comprehensive healthcareprofessionals and services, on-call 24/7,that are suited to all clients’ needs, beliefs, and cultural practices. A dedicated Physiotherapist, Registered Practical Nurse and/or Personal Support Worker will work collaboratively with any mobility restrictions or health conditions to prevent injuriesduring their new stretching routine. If you are in the Toronto area, Integracare can provide you or your loved one a Physiotherapist or private Chair Yoga Instructor who can provide yoga classes for seniors privately, wherever you call home.

Below are a few beginner senior yoga ideas.Allexercises are done in a chair and have potential for those with restrictions from illness and for those who are differently-abled. Please note: the demonstrators in all examples go through their routines quickly, so those following should always move at their own pace, guided by a professional.

Seven Yoga Poses You Can Do in a Chair

This article outlines some more benefits of yoga and presents animations of classic poses that can be performed while sitting. Accompanying the visuals are step-by-step instructions, including the appropriate times to breathe. Breathing is an essential part of yoga and helps one ease into the poses properly as well as align focus.

Chair Sun Salutations

This short routine features the popular sun salutation pose. The description says, “It’s a great routine for freeing up the shoulders, back and hamstrings. This chair yoga sequence is a perfect class for seniors or those with mobility issues and a very gentle introduction to yoga.”

Yoga for Seniors – Ekhart Yoga

This gentle routine focuses on hand, arm, shoulder, and neck motions. All motions should be done at a slow pace to start. Your loved one’s Physical Therapist will know what’s appropriate. Videos are easy to pause while the motion is repeated and learned.

Yoga should never be painful, so stretchers should always voice how they are feeling and let their Physiotherapists, Instructors or Caregivers know if they are experiencing any discomfort. All motions should be eased into and new stretches shouldn’t be attempted alone.There are many versions of stretches and poses that are useful and beneficial, so a softer, subtler version should always be attempted first.