Yoga is for every body. And that’s just one of the wonderful things about it! Another wonderful thing is there are specific yoga poses for women, men, children, disabled people, seniors.
A yoga practice can be tailored to meet the varying and specific individual needs of a person or of a collective group of people. Here, I’ll be addressing the physical, mental, and emotional needs of women over the age of 50 with yoga poses that are particularly beneficial to them.
Hi! My name is Vaneeta! I teach a Yoga for Women group class at MyYogaTeacher. Women are the source of life and energy on the planet. And a woman advances through many phases of life from motherhood to menopause. Women who are entering the stage of life that is after menopause have specific needs that can be addressed with yoga!
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I hope you’ll try some of these yoga poses for women over 50 and then join my class on MyYogaTeacher for more!
One key to doing yoga at an older age is using props that help you remain stable, safe, and aligned. I recommend using blocks and/or a chair along with your mat.
Cat and Cow pose is great for anyone at any age, but it’s a great way for women to begin warming up their back and abdominal muscles in a way that is gradual and stable. Supporting your weight on all fours is also a great way to keep arm and chest muscles (that maybe don’t get used as much as we age) strong and conditioned. Women over 50 tend to start experiencing stiffness and reduced mobility in their backs, so cat and cow pose is perfect for helping with those issues as well!
Additionally, because cat and cow pose is designed to sync with your breath, it is a great way to cleanse emotionally. Since changes in your body can cause emotional distress, particularly in older women, this yoga pose helps women release those emotions before moving forward with more challenging poses.
Otherwise known as “Down Dog,” this yoga pose is great for older women because it:
Stretches out the calves, hamstrings, and back
Builds strength in the arms and chest
Increases flexibility in the shoulders
Boosts circulation of oxygen and nutrients to otherwise contracting muscles
Shoulder joints tend to wear out as women age, which makes them susceptible to injuring their shoulders. Building strength in the arms and chest helps protect those increasingly fragile shoulder joints.
Emotionally, down dog instills a sense of empowerment and increases feelings of confidence and accomplishment, two things women over 50 tend to struggle with when they notice the changes in their bodies.
Additionally, once a women passes through menopause, muscles tend to tighten and contract due to reduction in hormones and hormone production. Downward facing dog is a perfect yoga pose for women over 50 because it keeps their leg and back muscles lengthened and promotes good circulation!
As women age, it is common for them to encounter knee problems and knee pain, making some yoga poses difficult. However, many yoga poses that increase flexibility and circulation to the hip flexors and hip joints require bent knees.
Performing cobbler’s pose on a block or bolster where your hips are higher than your knees helps decrease the pressure on your knees while still reaping the gentle benefits of hip stretching. You may also choose to put blocks underneath your knees or move your feet further away from your body so that the angle of bend in your knees isn’t as sharp.
Either way, this pose is proof that yoga for women over 50 is doable, even if you’re experiencing physical challenges and physiological changes.
Balancing postures are a common theme in many forms of yoga. They help yogis learn how to focus better, increase concentration, and (importantly for older women) strengthen the tiny muscles in our feet and ankles.
Older women may begin to experience balance issues as they age. This is common and normal!
The more you work to strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles, the less likely you will be to lose your balance! Additionally, yoga for women helps you navigate the mental changes you may experience by helping with memory, focus, and concentration.
Use a chair, wall, or other stable object if needed. You may also place your non-standing foot on your calf or even at your ankle until you are comfortable moving it further up.
Everyone loves child’s pose! It’s a great stretch for your back, arms, neck, and even hips and glutes. Older women may want to rest their forehead on a block and/or place a blanket underneath their hips to alleviate any discomfort.
Taking some much needed time in child’s pose allows women to reflect on how their body feels and release any negative thoughts about the changes that may be occurring in their body as they age.
I would love to have you join us in the Yoga for Senior class, where I not only teach a yoga class specifically catered to women’s needs but talk about common issues women face as they transition into and out of different phases of life! also Check out our latest Wellness class for seniors!
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