Yoga For Seniors | Slow And Gentle Yoga
Yoga For Seniors | Slow And Gentle Yoga
Hi everyone and welcome to Yoga With Adriene. I’m Adriene and today we have a gentle and slow yoga practice for you. So this is really great if you’re wanting to chillax, I believe that’s what the kids are saying, and cultivate a little balance and time for yourself. This is also really good for seniors. I get this request a lot to create more practices that are identifiable and awesome for seniors. So, everyone grab a blanket or a towel, hop into something comfy and let’s get started.
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Alright everyone, let’s begin in a nice, comfortable seat. So if it’s troublesome to be on the ground today, you can do the first portion of this practice in a chair or even on the edge of your couch. Just want to come into a place, a position where you can feel as though your spine is nice and lifted. So I’m sitting on a blanket today. You can sit on one, two, three, four, even five blankets.
Maybe be a firm couch pillow or a small stack of towels. Get creative, that’s kind of one of the fun things to embrace when it comes to the at home yoga practice. So, if you have to pause the video here to get settled, go ahead and do that. It won’t take any time. Just so you can get a little lift in the bum, in the hips. And again, if coming down to the ground isn’t your thing, that’s okay too. So we’ll start in a nice comfortable seat whenever you’re ready. Setting ourselves up for greatness by finding a little lift in the hips and then again feeling as though we have a little bit of a fighting chance to sit up nice and tall.
The reason I say it that way is if it feels like hard work, you are not alone. But in time and with more regular practice especially these nice kind of gentle, slow practices, we’ll be able to integrate breath and body and hug muscle to bone in a way where we can find that lift without exhausting ourselves. So when you find yourself in your seat, trust yourself, trust this practice, trust me and the video, and allow your eyes to close here. Sit up nice and tall wherever you are. Close the eyes.
And really this practice is about carving out some time to explore body and breath, to cultivate balance, and overall invite more ease, with less effort. Just for today: As you’re ready, with the eyes closed and the heart lifted just a bit, see if you can actively relax your shoulders and if some gentle, soft, easy movement comes out of that, allow for that to happen. Nice, and then with the eyes closed still the heart lifted and the shoulders relaxed, we’ll begin to slowly and gently notice the breath. Of course, with that awareness, with that consciousness you might start to change the rhythm of your breath. The length of your breath and just allow for it to unfold.
So in a lot of practices we have to focus, we have to activate, we have to engage. Today’s practice is just as valuable and beneficial but without all the effort so set the foundation, eyes closed, heart lifted, shoulders relaxed and just allow your breath to move in and out within that. And this can be really tricky because there’s not a lot going on the surface. Give it some time. And just play with noticing your breath allowing it to become more full, more conscious. There’s no right or wrong here so when you need to take a big ol’ breath from your belly or allow for a big sigh out through the mouth, just say yes. Let the breath flow and continue to flow as we begin to move in a way that feels good.
So as I invite you to bring your hands together at your heart, keep up the conscious breath. And as I invite you to bow your head toward your hands, toward your heart, keep up the conscious, gentle, deep breathing. And as I invite you to set a little intention for our little ditty today on the yoga mat, keep breathing. Really nice. Bat the eyelashes open, lift the chin, head over heart, heart over pelvis here. Palms are gonna press together firmly and the elbows are gonna come out wide. So make sure you have little intention.
It could just be that, “I choose to stick with my breath and keep “circling back to my breath throughout the duration of this “practice to see what it does, see how it makes me feel.” Perhaps you’re already noticing a difference in how you feel from when you started this video. Keep breathing, here we go, big inhale. Exhale. On your next inhale, fingertips reach up towards the sky. You’re gonna slowly trace a line with your nose to look up but careful not to pinch the back of the neck. You don’t have to hit a mark here. Keep it soft and easy and then exhale, slowly back down.
Navel draws to the spine and we come chin to chest. We’re exaggerating this movement here. Inhale, fingertips reach of the sky. Long puppy belly, nose up towards the palms and then exhale, round through. Elbows hit that left to right wide mark and we draw the navel back. Alright, keep it going with the breath, inhale. Reach up. Think Cow Pose here.
And then exhale, rounding through. Nice and slow. Think Cat Pose. One more time with your breath. Nice and then inhale back up to head, heart and pelvis in alignment.
You’re gonna take your left hand to your right knee. Right fingertips to the right shoulder. Then inhale, loop your shoulders just gently back, nothing too fierce but just kind of like you’re readjusting a backpack. And then from here, you’re gonna inhale, draw the right elbow all the way up and over and around. And come into a nice, easy twist here.
Breathe deep. Again, remember you keep that layer, that rhythm, that heartbeat of the breath going. Inhale, sit up nice and tall. Exhale, just release everything back to center.
We’ll do the same thing on the other side. Right hand comes to the left knee. Sit up nice and tall. Left fingertips gently to the left shoulder. Loop the shoulders. So shoulder blades seem to come together here a bit or that’s the intention.
And then when you’re ready, here we go. Big stretch as you inhale, draw a line with the left elbow all the way up towards the sky and then around, round, round, looping shoulder back and you find yourself in a nice, easy twist. Breathe deep here. Hmmmm.
And if you’re doing this on the chair, you can just take the outer edge of the thigh, right? Making it work. Inhale, exhale, release everything back to center. Awesome work. We’re gonna send the fingertips forward and then flex the hands so the fingertips go up towards the sky.
Great, inhale, open the chest. Pinkies draw all the way left to right and then all the way back towards each other. Sit up nice and tall and then exhale all the way back to center. Inhale to open the chest. Feel that lovely stretch in the pecs. And then exhale back to center. Keep it going with your breath.
See if you can slow it down. So inhale, shoulder blades are wrap around you, lift your heart. And exhale. Now on your next inhale, keep the lower ribs heavy here so if they’re kind of coming out here, draw them in. That’s the ticket and then back to center. We’re gonna do one more of these. Inhale, full of breath as you move out.
And exhale, empty, as you bring in back to center, awesome. Take this forward momentum now with the hands facing forward all the way into a Tabletop Position. If you are in the chair, you can stay in the chair or you can make your way down to Tabletop here. Use your padding to pad the knees. We’re just taking our time getting in and out of things today.
So come on down to the ground, Tabletop Position. Pad the knees if you like. We’ll come here for just a moment, just so you can feel this neutral spine. Wrists underneath the shoulders, knees directly underneath the hips. Great, then nice and easy you’re gonna press into the top of your left foot and curl the right toes under and extend that right leg. Lift front back up to meet the back body here and if you’re in the chair you can just extend your right leg out long.
Flex your toes up towards your face or towards the sky. Great, then stretch the ankle, stretch the calf by rocking forward and back and you got to bring that breath that’s full of spirit, that’s full of love, that makes it the yoga: Makes it feel good. Nice, and then the next time you shift forward, shoulders over the wrists, you’re gonna bend your right knee, lift your right foot all the way up towards the sky. Tap into your core muscles here gently as you kick your right foot up just a bit engaging the right glute just a little bit.
Then claw through the fingertips, take pressure out of the wrists, take a deep breath in. And then exhale, relax it all way down. Beautiful, bring the big toes together. Knees as wide as the yoga mat and then send your hips back, reach the fingertips forward, just take a moment to center yourself in the sound of your breath. If you’re in the chair, just sit up nice and tall. Listen to the sound of your breath. Time spent on the mat with yourself and your breath is time well spent.
So trust that you chose the right practice. Maybe you need to slow down. Be still. Great, and then with your breath as your cue, as your guide you’ll come all the way back up and find your nice Tabletop Position. And then as you’re ready, left toes curl under and we extend the left leg out. So I’m working to really draw the front of my body up to meet the back and there’s a little rotation in the pelvis that happens here so that the lower back feels nice and long.
And you’re gonna start to rock, stretching through the fascia of the foot, the ankle, the calf, all the way up the back of the leg. Consider that rotation of the upper arm bones rotating out. Just like we did in the warm up. And then layer on nice full conscious breath. Pressing into your right foot for stability.
Finding that integrity throughout the whole spine including the neck. So the neck isn’t dipping down here. Great and then the next time you shift forward, shoulders over the wrists, go ahead and gently engage your core, bend that left knee. You’re gonna bring the sole of the left foot up towards the sky as if you’re pressing it up to the ceiling. Go ahead and press it up just a bit so you feel your core engage. You’re pressing away from your yoga mat.
Should feel engaging quality in the lower belly as well as the glute. Tuck the chin, lengthen through the back of the neck. One more breath here, inhale. And then exhale, lower it down. This time keep the knees together. Arch to arch with the feet.
And you’re gonna paint your yoga mat, just paint it all the way down, send your fingertips behind you and then rest the forehead gently on the earth. If you’re in the chair, you can just come into a nice Seated Forward Fold. Everyone close your eyes and observe your breath. Take one more cycle of breath here. Notice how it can stretch and soothe the back body as you inhale. And soften and relax everything as you exhale. Then start to move your fingers. Draw the hands back up.
And from here, we’re gonna slowly make our way to standing. So use your breath and take your time getting there. Again, take your time. But when you do finally land on your feet, stand up nice and tall. Once again, close your eyes, lift your heart. Relax your shoulders and breathe deep.
Spread awareness throughout all four corners of the feet. Lift up through the front body. Find a soft bend in your knees. And on your next inhale, you’re gonna scoop something up as if you’re kinda lifting something maybe. Palms up towards the sky. You’re gonna inhale, reach all the way forward, up and then back. Press your palms back.
Don’t push it, nice and easy. Beautiful and then exhale, bring it down. Soft bend in the knees. Inhale, reach for the sky. Then exhale, palms down towards the earth. Back of the palms, sorry, down towards the earth.
Inhale, palms up towards the sky. And now you can move with the rhythm of your own breath here. Soft and easy. Plugged in through the feet. Benji! Beautiful and then the next time you inhale, reach for the sky, you’ll send the fingertips up and then exhale, bend your knees, you’re gonna open, twist gently to the left. Bend both knees. Inhale, rise up, soft hands. Exhale, open to the right.
Inhale, reach it up. With your breath, exhale, twist. Inhale to reach. Exhale, twist. Inhale, reach for the sky, palms come together and then exhale, hands to your heart. Beautiful, take a breath here. Inhale.
And exhale, relax your shoulders. Beautiful. Nice and easy, you’re gonna step the feet as wide as your yoga mat. So if you need to move your blanket or your padding, you can. You’re just gonna come into a nice wide stance. Take your time getting there. And then keep breathing deep.
This is valuable time to connect with your breath. To connect with your little homies that you live with. Just kidding, this is your time. You’re gonna turn the toes straight out here to start so that you can feel, again, all four corners of the feet and once again, think about lifting up through the front body and then just find a small bend in the knee. Great, deep breath in. Long breath out. Inhale to grow taller, longer through the spine.
Exhale to find that strong footing, soft bend in the knee. Great, inhale in again. Exhale to relax the shoulders. All this fresh oxygen, fresh blood, so good for your body and for the system.
Great, and then when you’re ready you’re gonna keep the left foot where it is and you’re just gonna slowly press into the ball joint of your right big toe and turn the right heel in. With that, the shin, the knee, the femur all turn in as well and we find this lengthening down on the tailbone just a hair. If you feel any pinching or pushing, you can back off a little bit. Listening to your body. Feeling this strength in the legs here. Great, then inhale in. Exhale, you’re gonna dig into your left heel and just turn the toes in just slightly.
Just a hair. Great. And here we go, inhale in again. Exhale, send the fingertips out left to right. Pull ’em back. Nice and strong in your core.
Nice and long in the neck. Beautiful. Inhale, exhale, slow bend in the front knee. Inhale, lift it up. Straighten the front leg. Exhale, slow bend. Inhale to rise up.
Exhale to bend. Inhale to rise. And exhale to bend. Great, the next time you inhale to rise you’re gonna stay there, strong legs, inhale in, exhale, option to bring the hands to the waistline here. Otherwise, just bump the hips back. Then you’re just gonna keep a strong core, nice, long neck as you reach the right fingertips all the way forward.
Inhale in here. Exhale, maybe a Triangle Pose with the right fingertips down, left fingertips up towards the sky or maybe hands on the waistline here as you work on that line from the crown to the tail. Find the ease, that Suhka, with your breath nice and full. Breathing deep.
Maybe keeping the gaze down today to play with that length from crown to tail. Breathing into all four sides of the torso here. One more breath, you got it. Then exhale. From your center, navel draws in.
We come all the way back up. Bring the hands to the waistline everybody. Then we’ll slowly come back to center. Nice and easy. Both toes facing forward. Inhale in.
Exhale out. Cool, bring the palms together. Anjuli Mudra, again, reset with the feet. Notice if you’re clenching in your toes.
Notice if you’re finding any places in the body, if you can kind of go on a little search here. Little scan where you might be holding or gripping. Then return to the sound of your breath. So when you’re ready, inhale.
Then exhale, send the fingertips out left to right. Press into the ball joint of your left big toe. Turn the that left ankle, that left heel in. Maybe slight turn of the right toes in. Digging into that right heel. And then pull it back, find integrity. Strong legs, strong core. Lift your heart, inhale.
Exhale, relax your shoulders. Beautiful, as you’re ready slow bend in that left knee. Here we go. Beautiful, inhale in. And this time exhale, press through the left foot and rise up.
Actually you’re gonna breath in here. Sorry. Inhale, straight legs. Exhale, bend your left knee. My bad. Inhale, straight legs, press into your foundation. And exhale, bend.
Inhale. So if this way slow for you, refine. Pay attention. Move from the surface, the kind of gross movement, to that micro movement. Pay attention to your left hip as you bend the knee. Pay attention to that femur. Pay attention to your connection of your feet on the ground. Bada Banda.
Are you holding in your jaw? Let’s do one more, you got it. Arms are getting tired, I’m sure. Beautiful and then the next time, we’re straight here, hands can come to the waistline. That’s an option. We’re gonna reconnect to our foundation. Lift up from the pelvic floor, send the hips towards the right. Maybe fingertips reach out or, again, they can stay on the waistline here and slowly we keep reaching, keep both side bodies long as you come into a Triangle here. Strong legs.
And you can actually keep the gaze down today even if you’re used to looking up. Finding that length. Breathing into all four sides of the torso. Careful not to grip through the toes. Soft and easy, one more breath. Nice, and then on an exhale draw your navel in.
Connect to your center and from there, from that power we rise back up. Beautiful, bend that knee if you need to. Great, and then bring the hands to the waistline. Awesome work. Bring the toes back to face in towards center.
And now, yep, toes are gonna come in, heels are gonna go out. And you might even play with widening your stance here. Great, take a deep breath in. Hands stay on the waistline and then exhale, soft bend in the knees. Inhale in again. Exhale, open the chest, draw your elbows back and let your heart be what leads the way. All the way forward. Now you might only get this far before you take a big inhale in and out and then come back up.
Or maybe you come all the way towards the earth and you take a couple breaths here. So, listen to your body but let the breath really serve you here. Keep that conscious, full breath going wherever your body lands today. Ending with a nice therapeutic Standing Wide Legged Forward Fold. Alright, starting with the feet again, reconnect to your foundation. Hands come to the waistline, take a deep breath in. Then exhale, draw the elbows back.
Heart leads the way back up. Soft bend in the knees the whole way. Lift your heart, feel that flush of energy. Press into your heels. Try to create a 110% full body experience here as you breathe in. And then nice open mouth exhale as you breathe out. You got it. One more just like that.
Inhale. Nice cleansing breath. Nice. Heel toe, heel toe, ground every step of the way, all the way back to center. So heel toe is just literally heels, then toes, then heels, then toes. Great. Then we’re gonna end standing today but if you’d like you can come to a seat here if you know you want to spend more time on the ground or if you’re back in the chair or on the couch. Otherwise, we’re gonna come into a Mountain Pose.
Take a second to rotate the wrists. Maybe find some soft, easy movement in the head or neck if it feels right. And then come into stillness. Take your time getting there. Let your breath be smooth and slow. Then see if you can find the integrity of Mountain Pose without forcing or pushing. Just a soft, easy stance that’s full of integrity.
Gentle. But grounded. I hope that today’s practice brings you a feeling of balance and sensation of joy. Hat’s off to you for taking time for yourself. To move and breathe.
And feel whole. Let’s bring the palms together. Let’s bow to that. From my heart to your’s, Namaste.