Balance Exercises: Yoga for Seniors and Beyond

Staying physically active is an integral part of living a healthy and productive life. While there is a lot of focus on cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises, there’s one critical component that often gets ignored – Balance Exercises. These are particularly important for the elderly. The importance of regularly doing balancing exercises for senior citizens has even been reiterated in the latest WHO guidelines.

Keeping this in mind, I’ve created a three-part Yoga-inspired series with some excellent balance exercises for senior citizens in mind, but for everyone, really. It includes eye and ear exercises that help improve our coordination. You will learn to safely orient yourself in many different yoga positions and improve your capacity to hold a single-leg balance. And you’ll progress through the three levels, gradually building confidence in controlling your posture and movements.

There are three classes in this series of roughly 30 mins each, which are increasingly difficult. Here’s what to expect from the first in the series.

The ability to stand upright on two feet and stay balanced depends a lot on the feedback from our eyes and inner ears. The eyes help you see where you are, and the fluid in your ears gives information regarding your head’s position. If there is an issue with the eyes or damage to the inner ear system, it can impact your sense of balance. This becomes particularly important as we age when eyesight weakens, or the fluid in the ears tends to dry up.

That’s why, in this session, we begin our journey with eye, neck, and shoulder exercises. You will first do them while sitting and then repeat them in a standing position. After that, we do some muscle strengthening and coordination exercises like rising from the chair and sitting back.

You can do these exercises two-four times a week, and once you’re comfortable and ready to move ahead, you can start Level 2. (coming soon)

Note: Practice close to a wall or chair if you’re new to balancing work. Please be mindful of any exercise that doesn’t feel appropriate for you.

Level 1: Balance Exercises for Seniors

Reprinted with permission from Namita Piparaiya and
Namita Piparaiya

Namita Piparaiya is a Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist and the founder of Yoganama. A former corporate executive, she spent over a decade, from management trainee to business head, with leading MNCs including Citibank, Aviva, and Generali before finding her true calling in Yoga.

As part of her wellness journey, she has completed over 700 hours of Yoga Alliance certified training in Hatha Yoga. She has also studied Pranayama, Ayurveda, Yoga Philosophy, and Indian scriptures from some of the most reputed institutions and teachers in India and abroad. These include courses and workshops across Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Cambridge Summer School, eCornell, The Himalayan Institute (USA), David Frawley’s American Institute of Vedic Studies, Chinmaya Mission, India Yoga, Paulie Zink (founder of Yin Yoga), and BNS Iyengar (Mysore). Her approach is, therefore, holistic and unique, bringing together all her experiences to build a strong connection between the body, breath, mind, and one’s inherent constitution and nature.

Namita is acclaimed as one of the leading Yoga influencers in India, with a very engaged and dedicated following across social media platforms. She has been featured and published by India Today, Statesman, The Week, Business World, Elephant Journal, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, and other leading publications in India and abroad.

Namita is an Honours graduate in Mathematics from Delhi University and has an MBA from Symbiosis (SCMHRD), Pune. An avid traveler, she visited 53 cities across 15 countries in 2019, exploring the philosophies, cuisines, and customs of different cultures. She lives in Mumbai, India.

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