Add these gentle moves to your routine to feel stronger and stay independent longer.
There are many amazing benefits to practicing yoga, and building strength is one of them. Maintaining a regular yoga routine can help increase flexibility, improve balance and strengthen your muscles. For this routine you’ll need a sturdy chair.
As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
Start by sitting tall in a sturdy chair and face forward. Then, gently open your left leg to the left side of the chair. Turn your body to face the left side of the room with your left foot pressed to the floor. Allow your right knee to come off the chair, then lower toward the floor. Your right hip should be aligned with your right knee. Your right toes should be planted to the floor while your right heel is lifted. Hold in this seated lunge position for a few seconds. Then, when you’re ready, squeeze your gluteal muscles together for 3 seconds, release. Repeat the seated lunge 3-5 times.
Make it more challenging: Rather than squeezing your glutes, grab hold of the chair and gently push yourself up to a standing lunge over your chair and hold for 3 seconds.
Seated Sun God Pose
Sit tall in your chair and face forward. Gently open your legs as wide as is comfortable for you. Point your toes slightly outward with your knees and ankles aligned. Inhale and slowly raise both arms up and overhead. Next, exhale as you bend your elbows and lower your arms about half-way down. Your arms should resemble a “W” shape. Hold your arms in this position but try to relax your shoulders back and down. Then, draw your elbows in to your waist, then spread your arms out wide to the sides. Repeat the series of moves 3-5 times.
Sit tall in your chair and face forward. Gently open your legs to the sides. Point your toes slightly outward with your knees and ankles aligned. Spread your arms out wide to the sides and hold for a few seconds. Then, gently shift your weight to the left side of your body and slowly lean toward the left side of the room, still seated in your chair. Then, if you feel comfortable, gently lift your right foot from the floor and hold in this position for 3 seconds. Release your right foot down and move back to sitting tall and facing forward.
Next: Repeat the entire flow on the opposite side of your body.
Yoga can help improve balance, boost your confidence, help you sleep better and much more. As you continue to practice yoga, the poses will get easier, you’ll get stronger and you can move into more complex poses. Try adding yoga to your weekly exercise routine to feel the benefits for yourself.
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