Adding gentle movement to your day helps build strength, balance, and resiliency — for your body and your mind.
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’ve put together the Journey to 30 Challenge! It’s four weeks of summer-fun activities to help you stay active, connect with the SilverSneakers community, and have a total blast doing it. This is Activity No. 13. Find the full step-by-step guide here. And download the game board PDF here.
There are misconceptions that yoga is only for the young or super bendy. But it’s just not true. Yoga is for every body, at every stage of life. And it doesn’t have to be fancy.
And that’s good, since the benefits are huge. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, research suggests that a regular yoga practice helps:
- Boost strength and mobility
- Ease lower-back and neck pain, and possibly pain from knee osteoarthritis and tension headaches
- Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Improve balance
- Improve digestion
- Improve mental and emotional health
- Improve sleep
- Improve the quality of life for those living with chronic health conditions
- Lower blood pressure
Yoga also offers you a chance to slow down and reconnect to what matters most, says SilverSneakers Master Trainer and certified yoga teacher Sharlyn Green.
Get and stay fit with SilverSneakers! Choose from dozens of different Community classes, visit a participating fitness location, or view the current schedule of SilverSneakers LIVE online classes.
The Journey To 30 Challenge Activity 13: Tap Into the Power of Yoga
Today’s activity is split between SilverSneakers members and non-members.
Eligible members get access to SilverSneakers LIVE online classes, On-Demand videos, and thousands of fitness locations and classes. Not sure if you have access? Quickly check your eligibility now.
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.
For members: Take any SilverSneakers Yoga Class
SilverSneakers offers three types of yoga classes that are designed for older adults:
SilverSneakers Yoga is a 45-minute class that is truly beginner friendly. You’ll be guided through a series of seated and standing yoga poses designed to increase flexibility, balance, and range of motion. It makes a great complement to an active lifestyle, or as a way to gently ease into movement — no matter your goals. It’s offered both in-person at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times), or online with SilverSneakers LIVE.
SilverSneakers Yoga Flow is a 45-minute advanced class that is for those who are more familiar with yoga. You’ll move your body through mat-based flowing yoga postures to increase strength, flexibility, and breath awareness. It’s offered online with SilverSneakers LIVE.
SilverSneakers Yoga Pilates Fusion combines the best of yoga, Pilates, and barre in a 30–45-minute mind-body mat workout. You’ll build endurance and flexibility. It’s offered both in-person at participating fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times) and online with SilverSneakers LIVE.
For non-members: Try This Simple, 3-Move Yoga Sequence
You’ll just need yourself and a non-slippery surface, such as an exercise mat, to get started.
Yoga Pose #1: Cat-Cow
Cat-cow combines two feel-good back stretches into one relaxing flow. The result: massaged muscles and reduced tension.
How to do it:
- Start on all fours with your hands below shoulders and knees below hips.
- Slowly round your back up toward the ceiling (like a cat) while tucking your chin toward your tailbone.
- Then reverse the movement by arching your back (think about a cow) while lifting your hips and head.
- Do 10 reps total (five with back rounded, five with back arched).
Form tip: Focus on raising your head and tailbone to get into the cow position rather than dumping into your lower back. If you have trouble with floor-based exercises, try the standing cat-cow.
Yoga Pose #2: Chair
Chair pose is known for strengthening the muscles in your legs and butt, but it’s also great for fortifying the back.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, making sure your knees and hips are facing forward.
- Engage your belly.
- Sit back, bending your knees and lowering your hips as if you are hovering over a chair.
- Keeping your weight in your heels, reach your arms forward for counterbalance.
- Hold here for three to five slow, deep breaths, then press through your feet to return to standing.
Form tip: Try to keep your back in one straight line throughout this pose. If your lower back starts to arch, tilt your tailbone down toward the floor. This will feel much more comfortable!
Yoga Pose #3: Warrior Two
Warrior two builds strength in the hips, core, and back — and promotes healthy, confident posture.
How to do it:
- Begin in a staggered stance, with your left foot forward and right foot back.
- Turn your left toes out so they’re pointing straight ahead.
- Bend your left knee about 90 degrees, keeping your knee above your ankle and heel.
- Keep the outer edge of your right (back) foot firmly on the floor.
- Engage your belly.
- Extend your arms out at your sides with your palms facing down, and gaze out over the middle fingertips of your left hand.
- Breathe here for 3 to 5 slow, deep breaths, then gently return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
Form tip: To really engage your core and reduce any stress on your lower back, tuck your tailbone slightly. Think about eliminating any curve in your lower back, and imagine there’s a string pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling.
Take Your Favorite SilverSneakers Classes Online!
SilverSneakers members can access live fitness classes and wellness workshops through SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest schedule and RSVP for classes here.
Not a member? If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers — at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.
Not eligible for SilverSneakers? You can still get 200+ free SilverSneakers On-Demand videos and stay in touch with us by creating your online account.