7 Minutes On Monday
“Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life exists.”~ Patañjali
Did you drag yourself out of bed this morning — feeling tired and groggy? Did you have an extra cup of coffee because you needed an extra jolt? Are you in serious need of motivation?
Why not try a short yoga sequence to help you have a better morning and a better week? Yoga is a mind-body exercise that includes breathing techniques, physical movement and meditation. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before — it is never too late to learn!
By developing a regular yoga practice, you can improve your flexibility, strength and posture. You may find that your sleep improves, and your stress and anxiety levels lessen. Yoga can also ease lower back pain and help alleviate joint-related pain. It may also prevent cartilage and joint damage.
You can do a Google search for some poses that fit your level. You might want to follow along with YouTube videos or, you may wish to join an online class. With options such as style or intensity level, you’re sure to find the perfect way to adopt yoga as part of your regular exercise regime.
Yoga is an ideal exercise to practice in your own home. You don’t need much equipment: a mat for your workout, some blocks or bolsters for help if you have flexibility issues and a towel. With an internet connection, a PC, Mac or other media device, you can participate in yoga sessions whenever you like.
Try this easy yoga sequence geared towards older adults that will start your day right. This simple workout focuses on mindful breathing and gentle movements that will fill you with joy, energy and confidence.
The session is a series of gentle standing poses (asanas) that takes about seven minutes to complete. It starts with Mountain Pose, flowing into Cactus Chest Expansion, followed by Chair Pose, Wide-Legged Forward Fold, Warrior Two, Reverse Warrior, Triangle Pose, and finally easing back into Mountain Pose. See below for a description of each asana.
We are not yoga teachers nor medical professionals. This article is posted for information and entertainment purposes only. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other health care professional before you start any new physical activity.
Mountain (Tadasana): This asana is the foundation of all standing yoga poses. When you practice Tadasana, you feel grounded and reconnected to your centre. You feel calm and empowered. This pose improves your posture and balance, strengthens your joints and firms your body.
Cactus Chest Expansion: This pose stretches and releases tension in your neck, shoulders, arms, upper back. It also expands your chest for better breathing.
Chair (Utkatasana): This asana strengthens your thighs, knees and ankles as well as helping your arms and shoulders become more flexible. Your core muscles are all engaged in this pose that helps correct your posture and limber up your muscles.
Wide-Leg Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana): This pose affects a full-body stretch. It reaches from the bottom of your heels up along your spine and through to your fingertips. It strengthens your spine and releases tension in your neck and back.
Warrior II (Virabhadra): This pose, named after a fierce incarnate of Shiva, stretches your body, stimulates your abdominal organs and increases your stamina.
Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana): This pose strengthens and stretches almost every area of your body, including the hips, legs, quads, arms, torso and neck. Reverse Warrior also increases flexibility in your spine, inner thighs, and ankles.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): Triangle Pose opens your chest and shoulders. It builds stamina, balance, and energy while strengthening muscles in your hips, thighs and back. This pose may help ease anxiety and stress.
If standing exercises don’t appeal to you, check out this simple seated yoga practice, 5 Yoga Poses to Practice First Thing in the Morning.
“True meditation is about being fully present with everything that is including discomfort and challenges. It is not an escape from life.”~ Craig Hamilton
Or perhaps you would like to start your day with a simple seated meditation rather than a yoga sequence. Here is a short peaceful meditation to try: 7 Minute Meditation to Start Your Day
Starting the day with even a few minutes of meditation has a lot of benefits. The time spent in the now brings you a sense of calm and control which can last throughout the day. Endorphins are released into your system as you engage in gentle mindfulness that boosts your mood and your energy levels as well.
This practice can help you feel stronger emotionally and better equipped to handle any stresses or worries that come your way. Meditation can change your life in small ways, and it will help you cope with all the stuff going on around you. You will feel happier, calmer, more confident and energized.
There are many instructional videos and posts for different forms of yoga, many meditation exercises for a calmer, more serene lifestyle. Try a search on YouTube. Or, try some in-person classes at your local rec centre or seek out private lessons. Check them out and find the ones that suit your fancy.
Want some tips for starting a yoga practice? Here are some resources to get you started.
- How to Begin Practicing Yoga After 50
A Wiki with some great suggestions to help you get them out of your yoga practice
— with illustrations.
- 6 Must-Try Yoga Tips For Women Over 50
This post has six great tips along with videos to illustrate their points.
- Yoga for Healthy Aging — Strength Sequences
This article highlights the need for strengthening the body through yoga to help keep your body in the best of health.
- What Women Need To Know About Yoga After 50
Advice from professional yoga instructors on listening to your body and finding the best practice
- 14 Yoga Poses You Can Do at Any Age
Tips on finding your fitness level and tailoring your movements to that level. Includes 14 yoga poses plus variations that are right for you.
Remember to discuss any exercise regimes with your doctor before beginning any new programs.
Do you practice yoga, or do you have a different form of exercise that you love? Share your faves in the comment section below.