15-Minute Gentle Yoga Sequence for Seniors
1. Begin in Easy Pose
Close your eyes. Place one hand on your tummy and the other on your heart. Take five long breaths into your belly. Fill it up with fresh oxygen. Then bring your awareness to your chest. Take five long inhalations and exhalations into your chest. Then take your awareness to your upper chest.
Take five long breaths into this space. Cultivate inner awareness. Finish this breathing sequence with five long breaths to fill all three areas sequentially.
2. Seated Cat/Cow
Flutter your eyes open. Take your palms to your knees. Inhale as you send your heart and collarbones forward, look up toward the sky. Exhale as you round through the spine, tuck the chin and send your heart back. Flow through these seated cat and seated cow postures slowly with your breath ten times each.
3. Seated Crescent Moon
Extend your arms overhead. Interlace your fingers, release your index. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Inhale as you lean to your right. Feel the left side body open up. Hold for three gentle breaths. Return to center.
Inhale as you reach up to the left. Hold for three breaths and open the right side body. Return to center. Inhale as you reach up and back for a mild back bend. Open the heart and chest toward the sky above. Hold for three soft breaths. Return to center and release your hands by your sides.
4. Seated Forward Bend
Extend your legs straight in front of you – knees, ankles and heels to touch. Inhale and lift your arms up to shoulder height and extend them in front of you. Exhale as you lean forward towards your toes and hold for two easy breaths. Inhale as you sit back up to starting position. Exhale as you extend and reach forward. Hold for two full breaths. Repeat dynamically ten times holding for two easy breaths each time.
5. Wind Removing Pose
Lie flat on your back and take your right knee towards your right shoulder. Interlace your fingers just below the knee and gently use the weight of your hands to pull it closer to the shoulder. Hold for ten breaths. Release and switch sides.
Hold for an additional ten breaths. Release. Hug both knees into the chest and gently squeeze them towards the lower ribs to massage the internal organs and stimulate the digestive system. Hold for fifteen breaths.
6. Legs Up the Wall
Close your practice by laying flat on your back with your tailbone as close to a wall as possible. Extend your legs up the wall. Rest your palms by your sides, facing up. Begin to focus on your breath as you match the length of your inhale to the length of your exhale. Close your eyes. Rest for at least fifteen gentle breaths.
Remove your legs from the wall and extend them flat on the mat. Melt into your mat and continue cultivating your inner awareness in Savasana. After twenty easy breaths, roll onto your right side and slowly come up to a comfortable seated position.
Flutter your eyes open and take this open mind and heart forward with you the rest of the day, or into the night.
Are there any poses you’d include in this seated gentle sequence for seniors? Let us know!