Gentle Yoga for Seniors

Senior woman practicing yoga, eyes closed and hands pressed together
Seniors interested in yoga may want to skim the study “Yoga for Healthy Aging: Science or Hype?” in the journal Advances in Geriatric Medicine and Research. It points out that there are now numerous, well-designed studies that attest to yoga’s ability to not only prevent cognitive decline but also positively impact balance, cellular aging, mental health, and mobility. What about the potential for harm? Researchers say that yoga isn’t just for flexible people. The practice is inherently flexible, and most postures can be modified. Working with an experienced instructor to learn gentle yoga for seniors is a great way to access the benefits while minimizing the risks. Are you curious about what you might learn? Exploring some gentle beginner’s postures can offer insight.

Mountain Pose

Mountain pose is a foundational pose. It’s a starting point for many other poses, and it appears deceptively simple because it looks like simply standing still. However, details matter. When it’s done right, you should feel balanced and grounded. To perform mountain:

  • Stand tall with your feet together. Your heels and big toes should touch.
  • Relax your shoulders. Let your shoulder blades fall down and back.
  • Tighten the core so that your abs are in and providing support.
  • Hold the pose for five to eight breaths.

Tree Pose

Tree pose grows balance and concentration. It also builds strength in the legs and abs. To do a standard version of this pose:

  • Begin in mountain pose.
  • Move your hands in front of your chest in a prayer position.
  • Maintain balance on one foot while shifting the other foot to sit with its sole against your inner leg. It is traditionally placed either above or below the knee.
  • Open the raised leg out to the side. Hold for five to eight breaths.
  • Repeat on the other side.

If standing on one leg seems more suitable for flamingos than suggestions of gentle yoga for seniors, remember that there are several possible modifications with almost any yoga pose. For tree pose, most teachers suggest putting the foot of the raised leg lower. Common placements are against the ankle or shin. Teachers may also suggest standing near a wall or chair and using this as a balance aid when necessary.

Cat and Cow Pose

Cat and cow helps relieve stress and restore mobility to the spine. It may also aid those who struggle with insomnia. To perform this active pose:

  • Kneel on the floor with the palms directly under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.
  • Breathe out, push with the palms, and arch the back.
  • Breathe in, let the belly sag, and lift the chin.
  • Repeat five times.

Using a yoga mat will provide traction so that your hands don’t slip. If you’re prone to sore knees, you may wish to use a folded blanket under your knees.


Savasana is a soothing way to unwind, so it’s a pose people of all ages look forward to. This pose brings peace to both body and mind as it relaxes the body and resets the nervous system. Completing savasana is simple:

  • Lie down on your back on your yoga mat, towel, or rug.
  • Place your arms at your side with your palms up. Your feet should be roughly hip-width apart or wider. If you’re uncomfortable, you can place a small pillow or rolled towel under your knees.
  • Observe your breath, let your muscles soften, and allow the floor to support you. Let the mind and body calm.

Exploring gentle yoga for seniors can be a fantastic way to enhance your physical and mental health. When you take classes with an experienced instructor, this ancient practice offers opportunities to hone and maintain the body while also challenging the mind and building social connections.

At The Beach House, we delight in providing an active, vibrant community for the seniors who reside here. If you hope to retire in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, the Beach House Assisted Living & Memory Care could be the ideal place. Our friendly and compassionate staff members offer individualized care 24/7, ensuring the safety, security, and happiness of all residents. The Beach House provides assisted living, memory care, and respite care. Most importantly, we tailor these services to suit the unique needs of each resident. To learn more about our amenities or schedule a tour, please get in touch with us online or give us a call at 904-615-8076. We look forward to hearing from you!