Always stop any Yoga practice if you feel it is not serving you to the highest regard.
Guidelines for Posture & Flexibility
Healthy Posture & Balanced Flexibility
- Great job for being mindful of these two components for Healthy Aging!
- Be aware of your standing and sitting posture; Make adjustments when you are out of alignment or feel tension or pain
- Never push beyond the limitations of your joints when stretching; Stop when you have “hit the bumper” type of sensation
(rounded/hunched upper back)
- Be mindful of bending, especially if you also have Osteopenia or Osteoporosis in the upper back; Keep your spine lengthened while hinging at the hips during forward folds
- Add modifications to standing poses by you drawing your shoulders blades together to encourage the opening of your heart and chest
- Practice gentle backbends to strengthen the muscles of your back
- Do encourage your weaker side to get stronger by doing more repetitions or longer holds than your stronger side
- For leg discrepancy, wear lifts when doing standing poses
- Identify and change daily movement patterns to help balance your structure; For example, carry your purse on the other shoulder, use the computer mouse with the other hand, etc.
Loss of Stature
- Investigate the reason for your loss of stature with your healthcare provider to ensure you are not suffering from Vertebral Compression Fractures before practicing Yoga
- Encourage lengthening of your spine with poses like Child’s Pose and Down Dog and raise your arms above your head
- Use your breath to expand the space in between your spinal discs while doing lengthening movements
- Never push into any stretch as you can tear or damage tendons and ligaments; Always stop at or before that “hitting the bumper” feeling
- Move in and out of stretches rather than holding a stretch for a long time in order to signal the body that it is not being threatened by injury
- Consider many of our Gentle Somatic Yoga classes that offer a movement philosophy called “Pandiculation” to release chronically tense muscles