When my beginning senior students ask me what they should practice at home, I always prescribe Leg Stretches. Never to overwhelm a new student with more things to add to their pressured day, I keep it simple by suggesting to start with just one pose, for only one minute per side to begin with. So, two minutes of yoga each day in the beginning is doable.
Only 2 minutes a day? Why not! One pose can change your whole day. Seriously, when I ask my students to hold each leg stretch for one minute and that’s it, students are inspired to take it on. The beauty of underwhelming a new student with minimum home practice is, instead of feeling pressure and guilt for not doing enough, they will typically be inspired to do more with pleasure.
The comments that come back to me proves to me that they have done more then my suggestion and the results are ten-fold in their classroom progress. They are super excited by the day-to-day changes and can experience for themselves how consistent practice of even one pose a day really does make a difference as they quickly show the improvement of more flexibility and greater awareness.
My seniors are feeling less hip pain, leg pain, less fatigue, a renewed feeling of lightness from increased circulation, greater freedom of movement in their walking, so they are able to stand longer, walk easier and they are truly seeing the satisfying fruits of their home practice, as simple as it is.
Beginning senior students will come into a yoga class with a bucket load of past information in their minds about their body and their limitations. But there is one main limitation that reveals itself instantaneously when beginning yoga and that is the hamstrings. Students with tight hamstrings have a hard time moving forward (literally) in their practice as it is reflected in our own language as the old saying goes, if someone is ‘hamstrung’ they are stuck! So it goes in Yoga as well. I find that there is so much fear with students when experiencing the sensation (some would call pain) of the back of the legs stretching that they avoid it at all costs. Yoga Tune Up® Leg Stretch #1 is a great start.
In acupressure, the Bladder Meridian runs down the back of the body including the back of both legs. First the Bladder represents fear, and second it represents our ‘push’ in life. So, in our ambitious society, the hamstrings are very busy.
Yoga Tune Up® Leg Stretch #1 offers an efficient stretch to the back of the leg (hamstrings and calves) and when performed on a block gives a more intense stretch to the quads and psoas. These are synergists muscle groups working together that will bring a refreshing feeling of rejuvenation and energy to the entire body. Using a yoga strap will allow any student to find their range of motion without strain and eliminate that element of fear.
As students seek more practice they can add Yoga Tune Up® Leg Stretches #2 and #3. If students want to increase timings by 2 minutes for each variation, they will increase their home practice to 12 minutes.
People have busy lives, but they also want to feel the independence to incorporate the classroom experience at home. This is a way that inspires without pressure, and leads them on a path of choice, freedom and self-exploration.
Read about Yoga Tune Up® for seniors.
Learn about Yoga Tune Up at home.
Find your nearest Yoga Tune Up® Class