6 Yoga Poses That Age Well
3. Extended Puppy
A cross between two of the better-known yoga poses, downward dog and child’s pose, extended puppy pose offers the benefits of lengthening your spine without some of the discomfort some people find on their knees and hips in the other poses, Matthews says.
- Start on all fours in a tabletop position, with your knees under your hips, and wrists under your shoulders. Place a towel under your knees if necessary.
- Walk your hands in front until your chest is close to the ground while your hips remain over the knees.
- Keep your head down, and press your arms and hands into the ground.
- Breathe deeply for 20 to 30 seconds, and then return slowly to tabletop.
4. Low Lunge
This move offers the benefits of a lunge, but with the added stability of the back leg remaining in contact with the ground.
- Stand with your legs hip-distance apart and arms at your side.
- Step the right foot forward and bend the knee until your knee is directly over your ankle.
- Your left leg is straight behind you with the knee or shin resting on the ground. Place a towel under your back leg if necessary.
- Press your hands or fingers into the floor to the side of your right heel.
- Keep your upper body lifted.
- Breathe for 20 seconds, and then return to standing and repeat with other leg.
Bridge pose is good for your hips and strengthens your lower back. “This is great if you’ve spent many years working at a desk job or if you haven’t been active in a long time,” Matthews says.
- Begin lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart directly under your knees. Arms should be straight at your side.
- Breathe in as you press your hands into the floor.
- Exhale and tighten your stomach muscles as you tilt your pelvis and then your spine off the ground until you are in a bridge position. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly lower your spine starting from the shoulders until your back is flat on the floor. If needed, put a folded blanket or towel under your shoulders for support.
6. Legs Up the Wall
This restorative pose can offer some of the gentle release of other poses without the strain of bending over, Matthews says. It also helps recirculate blood back to the heart.
- Sit with one side of your body against a wall. Slowly lower your back to the floor. Shift your legs up the wall until the backs of your legs are flat against the wall.
- If you can’t get your legs flat against the wall, move your body back slightly from the wall and bend the knees slightly. Keep your arms flat at your side.
- Breathe deeply through the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Slowly swing your legs down from the wall.