Regain Physical Strength and Stability through a Series of Poses
Practicing several basic yoga positions improves our balance and equilibrium stability as we age and protects us from dangerous falls and broken bones.
The statistics for broken bones and severe injuries after the age of 70 are astounding. A large proportion of disabilities occur due to broken hips and legs, injuries that may have been prevented by better balance. The reality is that our balance muscles begin to weaken in our late teens if they are not utilized. In most cases, this is not a severe problem during the early adult years, but it does become a significant issue during the senior years.
The good news is that even if the ability to balance decreases with time, it is feasible to recover an average level of strength and stability via exercise. The practice of yoga has many benefits for flexibility, strength training, and relaxation techniques. It may seem intimidating for people unfamiliar with the poses to roll out a mat and bend in various contortions in a studio. Although all yoga poses are beneficial, the primary balance poses can be performed at home.
Although these postures are straightforward in form, they may take some effort to master. The critical thing to remember is to start slowly and be consistent. Little initial progress will grow into full capability with practice and patience.
It is the most straightforward pose in yoga and is generally a starting point for any routine. The Mountain Pose may not seem to affect balance, but it ensures basic posture and develops focus for the more challenging poses:
Stand erect with your feet slightly touched. The arms should be straight at the sides, and the focus should be at a horizontal level. Maintain this pose for at least one minute with deep regulated breathing.
The basic Tree Pose begins with one foot resting on the other leg, toes pointing downward. Advanced tree poses raise the foot to a higher level, eventually reaching the upper thigh.
Several variations of the Dancer’s Pose start with one leg extended backwards while standing on the other foot. Advanced poses include forward bending to a horizontal posture, fully forward-leaning to touch the floor, and forward-leaning while holding one foot. This more difficult pose takes practice to achieve a forward bending balance.
Balancing on one leg may be accomplished by extending the opposing foot or by grasping the foot behind. With increased balancing skill, the extended leg may be raised to hip level.
Practicing yoga has many benefits for all age groups. These poses only require a few minutes a day, but their ability increases with repetition. They can be performed at home, in the park, on a break, or just standing in line while we’re waiting at the airport. Wherever the time allows, the balance poses will improve our ability to protect ourselves as we age.