Yoga After 50 For Dummies
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If you have only 15 minutes to practice Yoga, this routine is for you. I have given this sequence a lot of consideration, often times using postures to both compensate for a pose that occurred before and/or prepare your body for a posture that’s coming up.

It may take you additional time to complete the sequence as you read the instructions next to each pose. The sequence will go much quicker once you learn how to get into each pose.

Finally, if a particular pose seems too challenging or causes pain, modify it in a way that works for you or skip it entirely. Knowing what’s good for your body and what isn’t is truly a sign of being an advanced Yoga practitioner.

Lie flat on your back, with your arms stretched out and relaxed by your sides, palms up (or whatever feels most comfortable).

Lie flat on your back, with your arms stretched out and relaxed by your sides, palms up (or whatever feels most comfortable).

Place a small pillow or folded blanket under your head if you need one and another large one under your knees for added comfort. Bend your knees if it feels better on your back.

Lie on your back with both legs straight.

Lie on your back with both legs straight.

As you exhale, draw one knee into your chest and hold on with both hands, just below the knee cap. Bring your toes back toward you. Stay for six to eight breaths. (Keep the other leg straight or place your foot on the ground with your knee bent if it feels better on your back.)

Note: If you’re having knee problems, you can use both hands to hold underneath the knee.

Repeat on the other side.

Lie on your back with one leg bent and one leg straight.

Lie on your back with one leg bent and one leg straight.

Start with your arms at your side, palms down. As you inhale, bring both arms overhead. As you exhale, bring your arms back to your sides. Repeat two more times.

On an inhalation, bring both arms overhead again, but this time keep your arms overhead as you exhale and then inhale, trying to stretch your arms even further. On your next exhalation, bring your arms back down. Repeat. Do the same sequence on the other side.

Lie on your back, both knees bent and feet on the ground, wide apart.

Lie on your back, both knees bent and feet on the ground, wide apart.

Your arms are at your sides, palms down. As you exhale, drop both knees to the right. As you inhale, bring both knees back up. As you exhale, let both knees fall to the left.

Repeat three times on each side and then stay on the right for four to six breaths. Repeat, leaving your knees down on the other side for four to six breaths.

Stand in the mountain posture and as you exhale, step forward approximately 3 to 3.5 feet (or the length of one leg) with your right foot.

Stand in the mountain posture and as you exhale, step forward approximately 3 to 3.5 feet (or the length of one leg) with your right foot.

Your left foot turns out naturally, but if you need more stability, turn it out more (so that your toes point to the left).

Place your hands on the top of your hips and square the front of your pelvis; release your hands, and hang your arms. Bend your forward knee. If you can’t see your toes, step out further. Then, straighten your front leg and hang your arms.

Warrior I

As you inhale, raise your arms forward and overhead and bend your right knee to a right angle (so that the knee is directly over the ankle and the thigh is parallel to the floor).

If your lower back is uncomfortable, lean the torso slightly over the forward leg until you feel a release of tension in your back.

As you exhale, return to the starting place; soften your arms and face your palms toward each other, looking straight ahead. Repeat three times and then stay for four to six breaths.

Warrior I

Bring your arms down, parallel to the floor, and pull your elbows back while extending your hands forward (palms up). As you pull your shoulder blades closer together, it may help to imagine you’re holding a tray. Stay for four to six breaths.

Repeat on the other side.

Step out wide on your mat and make sure your toes are pointing forward.

Step out wide on your mat and make sure your toes are pointing forward.

As you inhale, bring your hands to your hips and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, bend from your hips, draw your stomach in, and fold forward. (Keep your knees soft or bent if you feel any discomfort in your lower back.) Place your hands on the mat.

Moving your left hand underneath your face, reach your right hand upward from the side on your next inhalation. Exhale as you bring your arm back down. Repeat this twisting movement (on the same side) for a total of three times and then hold.

In Yoga, you may hold a pose, but never hold your breath.

If you want to make it more challenging, you can move your left hand (that’s on the ground) closer to your right foot.

Hold for four to five breaths and repeat on the other side.

Still folding forward, come back to the middle, bringing your hands to the floor for support or perhaps clasping your elbows.

Still folding forward, come back to the middle, bringing your hands to the floor for support or perhaps clasping your elbows.

Stay for four to five breaths.

Beginning on your hands and knees, position your hands directly under your shoulders with your palms down, your fingers spread on the floor, and your knees directly under your hips.

Beginning on your hands and knees, position your hands directly under your shoulders with your palms down, your fingers spread on the floor, and your knees directly under your hips.

Straighten your arms, but don’t lock your elbows.

As you exhale, slide your left hand forward and your right leg back, keeping your hand and your toes on the floor. As you inhale, raise your left arm and right leg to a comfortable height.

Hold for four to six breaths; repeat on the other side.

To challenge yourself, you can move the extended arm and leg side to side slowly.

Starting on your hands and knees, place your knees about hip width apart with your hands just below your shoulders.

Starting on your hands and knees, place your knees about hip width apart with your hands just below your shoulders.

You want your elbows straight but not locked.

As you exhale, sit back on your heels; rest your torso on your thighs and your forehead on the floor. You don’t have to sit all the way back. Lay your arms back on the floor beside your torso with your palms up (or forward with your palms on the floor).

Close your eyes and stay in the folded position for six to eight breaths. (If this is uncomfortable, you can either place blankets or a bolster under your chest, or you can always lay on your back with your knees into your chest.)

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Bend your left elbow and place your left hand on the back of your head just behind your left ear.

Raise the left leg as close to vertical (90 degrees) as possible, but keep your knee slightly bent. Draw the top of your foot toward your shin to flex your ankle and place your right palm on your right thigh near your pelvis. As you exhale, sit up slowly halfway and slide your right hand toward your knee.

Keep your left elbow back in line with your shoulder and look at the ceiling. Don’t throw your head forward.

Repeat this movement four more times and then switch to the other side. (If you want extra support for your neck, use both hands behind your head.)

Note: If you want to make it more challenging, stay up for an extra breath before coming back down.

Lie on your belly with your thumbs near your armpits, fingers forward and head down.

Lie on your belly with your thumbs near your armpits, fingers forward and head down.

As you inhale, pull forward and up, like a turtle coming out of a shell. Keep your buttocks loose. Repeat six to eight times.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.

Bring your arms out into a T with the palms down. Hang your right thigh over your left thigh.

As you exhale, drop both bent knees to the left. As you inhale, bring them both up. Repeat three times and on the third time, stay down for six to eight breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Lie on your back and slowly bring your knees in toward your chest to tolerance.

Lie on your back and slowly bring your knees in toward your chest to tolerance.

If you have knee problems, you can hold under your thighs. Stay for six to eight breaths.

Staying in corpse pose, use your right thumb to gently block off your right nostril.

Staying in corpse pose, use your right thumb to gently block off your right nostril.

Breathe in and out through just the left nostril for 12 to 15 breaths.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Larry Payne, PhD, is the founding president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and was named one of America’s most respected yoga teachers by the Los Angeles Times. Georg Feuerstein, PhD, was internationally respected for his contribution to Yoga research and the history of consciousness.

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