6 Yoga Poses That’ll Help Keep You Healthy at Any Age

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Staying young with yoga

Mentally, getting old isn’t so bad. Physically, it can feel like it’s all downhill after 18. We lose flexibility, balance and strength—especially once we hit our 30s — and the aches and pains pop up out of nowhere.

But there’s an easy way to keep your body in top shape as the decades roll by. Yoga is a low-impact way to strengthen and stretch and can be done any time and just about anywhere. We asked Toronto yoga teacher Christine Felstead to guide us through some poses that will keep our body feeling good.

Felstead recommends doing the whole sequence a few times a week up to daily at whatever time of day fits your schedule. Start by doing each pose for about five deep breaths and increase from there when you feel ready. If the whole sequence is too much, work the poses into your routine wherever they might fit. If you need a break during the sequence of poses, try child’s pose—sit on your heels, lower your head to your knees, and keep arms alongside the body or out in front. Focus on the breath moving in and out of the body, and let yourself relax.

As always, if you have any concerns about starting a new routine, speak to your doctor. A qualified yoga teacher will be able to answer any questions about the details of the poses. And remember: Don’t forget to breathe!

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1. Equal standing

Felstead says this pose will help you develop awareness of postural tendencies.

  • Without shoes, stand on a yoga mat or the floor with feet parallel and together or hip-width apart, arms hanging at sides.
  • Focus on your feet and how your body weight is distributed. Without lifting the soles of your feet off the floor, shift forward, backward and side to side to move your body weight until you bring it to the centre.
  • Moving your attention up the body, feel that your hips are stacked over your ankles, shoulders over hips. Move your chin back so that the skull is balanced on the spine. Aim to find an equilibrium that means you’re using as little muscle strength as possible to stand.
  • Imagine that a string is pulling you up from the crown of your head.

Change it up: Close your eyes and notice how your balance changes. Or try doing the pose in front of a mirror and compare how you feel with how straight and even you look.

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