Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Elderly Yoga: Gentle Yoga For Osteoporosis To Build Stability In Hips and Pelvis
Very often senior citizens or the elderly find difficulty in balancing themselves that can happen due to many reasons, like; wear and tear of joints, arthritis, osteoarthritis, physical limitations, etc. All of these lead to hip pain, inflammation of the hip joint, or even hip fracture caused by a fall reducing the mobility of the seniors leading to an inactive life.
In order to avoid a fall since balance becomes a challenge with the elderly, yoga can help to maintain the stability and strength of all the joints and muscles that work together to keep the hips active and maintain the needed range of motion.
In the given yoga sequence, the focus is on going slow starting from the standing yoga poses and gradually moving to seated and supine, to help students understand the level of flexibility needed with the hips in each position of the body. When students connect with their body and it's limitations, they also become aware of how to keep themselves safe during their day-to-day activities.
It is important to note that the given sequence can be modified as per the students comfort and the aim is, to open and stretch building stability gradually, and not to get the posture perfect or even try to master it. Going gentle in a flow is the key to this sequence. Reconnecting to the breath in the transition poses is very essential.
Note: The give sequence is only for educational purpose and the same should not be used for replacement for medical advice to treat patients with hip pain or hip injuries. Please consult a medical professional before starting to practice this sequence.
Elderly Yoga: Gentle Yoga For Osteoporosis To Build Stability In Hips And Pelvis: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. Begin standing at the center of the mat with feet close to each other. If you want you can have ONE TOE distance between the feet to avoid discomfort.
B. Close your eyes and slowly begin to build awareness, starting from the settling of all the ten toes on the ground, then moving towards bringing the knees together, thighs together, hips moved a bit inwards, chest out and shoulders back, chin up and perpendicular to the chest, a gentle smile, arms hanging besides you with all fingers pointing down.
C. Feel this awareness slowly breathing in and out.
D. Stay connected standing here for about 8-10 breaths or what suits you.
A. To work on the hips a few stretches of the lower body mainly the calves becomes essential.
B. Stand in front of a wall facing it. Inhale and place both hands on the wall. If no wall you could use a CHAIR too.
C. Exhale and take one foot behind and rest the foot on the heels as you stretch the soles of the foot giving the Calf a deep stretch.
D. Stay in this stretch for about 4 breaths. Release and bring the feet together after the practice of Standing Calf Stretch Pose Wall.
E. Repeat the same with the other foot. And stay for about 4 breaths.
F. Relax and stand to connect to the breathing.
A. Stand with feet hip distance apart placing all the toes on the ground/mat firmly.
B. Inhale and bring the arms to shoulder level to the side. Exhale and twist towards the left side as you raise the arms up alternatively and look behind.
C. Twist from the hips and watch how the abdomen, psoas, lower back, and chest stretch and contract on each side, respectively.
D. Move in a dynamic flow from left to right along with the breathing. Do this for about 6-8 times when practicing Wide Legged Standing Twist Pose.
E. Release and stand back in Mountain Pose to relax.
F. A great way to open the upper body while building stability with the lower body. A gentle warm up allowing for the maximum use of the chest and abdominal muscles.
Go with the comfort of the body, you could twist and stay for 3 breaths in each side if the dynamic way is not helping.
A. For the hips to stay strong, it requires strong and stable pelvic floor muscles along with lower back, thighs, legs, and feet.
B. Hence with this pose Standing Pelvic Circles the stability of the legs and the range of motion of the hips are tested.
C. Stand with feet hip distance apart and placing the hands on the hips begin in a circular motion, rotating the hips in clockwise direction.
D. Move gently as you bring the pelvis front and take it back for about 6 rounds in clockwise directions and 6 rounds in anticlockwise direction.
E. Try and coordinate with the breathing and go slow watching what your body wants.
F. Release and come to stand to relax.
A. Gently opening the hips working with gradual movements of both internal and external rotation helps to keep the stability of the hip joint and improves the blood circulation too.
B. Stand with feet together or hip distance apart. Stand side ways holding the WALL.
C. With one hand on the wall facing the wall with the right side, inhale and lift the left leg raising it up.
D. Exhale and begin to rotate the left hip taking the leg bent at the knee in circular motion moving outwards and then inwards.
E. Repeat this for about 4 times as you continue breathing slow and deep. Hold the wall to take support but stand few feet away from the wall.
F. Release and stand to relax. Repeat with the other leg by standing with the left side facing the wall. Hold the wall and lift the right leg to rotate the hips.
Standing Hip Rotations Flow helps students understand their own body strength and flexibility. In knowing the body the progress towards healing is better and easier.
A. Still standing near the WALL, you could choose to use a BLOCK if need be, else this can be done even without the BLOCK.
B. A gentle way to know how strong the hips are is the practice of Standing Hip Flexion Extension Pose Block.
C. Stand with the right hand on the wall as you face the your right side to the wall. Inhale and raise the left leg off the floor and begin to move the foot front and back.
D. A gentle movement from the hips and not just the foot. Move front as much as you can and then take it back exhaling, as much as you can.
E. Tighten the knee cap when you do this to see more impact at the hips.
F. Do this for about 4 breaths inhaling to go in front and exhaling to take it back. Release and relax.
G. Repeat with the other leg as you hold the wall with the left hand and stand sideways.
H. Extend and Flex the hip taking the leg front and back. Do this for 4 breaths.
I. Release and relax.
A. Continue with the hip movement.
B. Inhale take the hip outwards and back to the center taking this Standing Hip Abduction Adduction Pose with or without the BLOCK.
C. Do this for about 4 breaths, release and relax.
D. Repeat with the other hip and practice for about 4 breaths.
E. Relax and stand comfortably to connect back to the breathing.
This again is a great way to know and understand the hips, knee, and leg strength and flexibility while also building stability in all of them.