Being a nutritionist and a choreographer, I am a big fan of everything which includes fitness and health. Till now, a major part of my fitness regime included dancing. But realised with age that it’s important to include something which does not put undue pressure on your knees.
After 40, you need an exercise plan which helps you to stay active, young and reduces muscle mass. With age, metabolism slows down and increase in body fat as muscle mass decreases. Yoga is a low impact workout and I recently included yoga in my fitness regime. I am sharing 7 beginner yoga poses for women over 40 which you must include in your fitness plan. These are simple and easy to do which you can easily do at home.
Tree pose or Vrikshasana- Tree pose is a balancing pose which has therapeutic benefits on body and mind. Stand straight with your feet together. Now after bending the right leg, hold the ankle and place the sole of the right foot on the left inner thigh. Once you find the balance, you can place your hands in namaskar mudra in front of the chest or raise them above your head. Release and repeat by standing on the right leg. After a few days of doing it regularly, you can increase the standing time.
Benefits – Strengthening your lower body, and helps you to balance and thus, helps you to be calm and relaxed.
Mountain pose or tadasana– It is a very easy pose which helps you to stretch your full body. Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed and place arms at sides of the body. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead. The palms of your hands must be facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky extending your fingers upwards.
Benefits – Improves posture, helps to firm abdomen and hips and helps to improve breathing.
Warrior pose or virabhadrasana– There are 3 types of warrior poses. In the beginning, you can start with warrior 1. I am showing warrior 3 here. Stand with legs almost 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees. Turn the left foot inside slightly. Now bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down. Bend right knee 90 degrees. Look towards your right hand. Stay for at least count of 10 to 1 minute. You can switch sides and repeat the same.
Benefits – It strengthens the legs, improves breathing and concentration. Avoid it if you have some kind of injury in shoulders, hips or back.
Bridge pose or sarvangasana for back strengthening- This pose is my favourite out of all 7 beginner yoga poses. I have a slight backache problem due to a wrong sitting position while working on the laptop and sometimes due to wrong sleeping position.
For this pose, first of all, lie down on the mat. Fold your legs and keep them apart and knees directly over your feet. Now lift your lower back up and hold for few seconds. Slowly you can increase the holding time.
Benefits – This pose helps to relieve tension in your back and to stretch the muscles in the upper body. It strengthens the back.
Child pose or balasana – The easiest pose which has many benefits. There are two types of child pose- Normal and extended. Here I am showing the extended one. This is a great pose to stay in for longer periods of time since it helps to relieve stress. The best part is that you can do it anytime easily. Sit on your knees and further sit down so that your hips touch your feet. Now bend in the front and extend your body forward with hands extending outside.
Benefits – It’s great for opening your hips, stretching your ankles, and releasing stress.
Also read, 20 things a mom should do for herself.
Cobra pose or bhujangasana– For this pose, lie face down on the yoga mat. Now bring your hands at the shoulder level and toes together. Now inhale and bring your front body up by placing weight on your palms. Make sure shoulders are relaxed and feet, stomach and legs firm on the floor. Stay in this position for a few seconds and relax and repeat.
Benefits – It increases your flexibility, strengthens arms and shoulders.
Full seated forward bend or pashchimottanasana– Another easy pose but a very good stretching pose. Sit with legs straight and keep your hands on the thighs. Inhale and slowly exhale and stretch your hands forward, bending your body in the front till you reach your toes. Slowly come up and relax and repeat.
Benefits – It is a good overall stretch especially the back muscles and back leg muscles.
These are all easy to do even if you are just starting. Hope these 7 beginner yoga poses are helpful for you.
In the end, you can perform a corpse pose which helps you to relax after the yoga routine. In this pose, you just lie down facing upwards on the yoga mat and place your hands on the sides with palms facing up and feet wide apart. Close your eyes and relax.
*Do consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
Also, see kids yoga and its benefits.