Senior Yoga: The Optimal Number of Days Per Week

Senior Yoga: The Optimal Number of Days Per Week

As one ages, it is even more important to maintain physical activity to promote overall health and wellness. This is exactly why I teach it and why it’s my most popular class. Senior yoga is a popular form of exercise that has been shown to provide numerous benefits for seniors, including improved flexibility, balance, and strength.

Unfortunately, many seniors may wonder how often they should practice yoga to achieve optimal results. How many days? Do they have to get on the floor?

According to experts, seniors should aim to practice yoga at least three to four times per week to experience the full benefits of the practice. This frequency allows the body to become accustomed to the movements and poses, leading to greater flexibility and strength over time.

Additionally, practicing yoga on a regular basis can help to reduce stress and improve mental clarity, which can be particularly beneficial for seniors who may be experiencing cognitive decline.

It is important to note that every senior’s body is different, and some individuals may need to adjust their yoga practice based on their physical limitations or medical conditions.

Consulting with a healthcare provider before beginning a yoga practice is recommended to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for the individual’s needs. With proper guidance and regular practice, however, yoga can be a valuable tool for promoting health and wellness in seniors.

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Yoga is an ancient practice that has been gaining popularity among seniors in recent years. It is a gentle form of exercise that can help improve overall health and well-being. Here are some of the benefits of yoga for seniors:

Physical Benefits

Yoga can help seniors improve their flexibility, balance, and strength. It can also help alleviate joint pain and stiffness. In addition, yoga can help seniors with chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and hypertension. Some of the physical benefits of yoga for seniors include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved balance
  • Increased strength
  • Reduced joint pain and stiffness
  • Improved cardiovascular health

Mental Benefits

Yoga can also have a positive impact on seniors’ mental health. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. In addition, yoga can help improve cognitive function and memory. Some of the mental benefits of yoga for seniors include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved mood
  • Increased cognitive function
  • Improved memory
  • Increased mindfulness and self-awareness

How Many Days A Week Should Seniors Do Yoga?

Seniors can benefit from yoga in many ways, including increased flexibility, strength, balance, and relaxation. However, it’s important to determine how often seniors should practice yoga to maximize its benefits without causing harm.

Factors to Consider

Before determining how often seniors should practice yoga, there are several factors to consider:

  • Physical condition: Seniors’ physical condition can vary widely, and it’s important to consider any existing health conditions or injuries that may affect their ability to practice yoga.
  • Level of experience: Seniors who are new to yoga may need to start with shorter, less intense sessions and gradually build up to longer and more challenging practices.
  • Goals: Seniors may have different goals for practicing yoga, such as improving flexibility, reducing stress, or increasing strength, which can affect how often they should practice.

Recommended Frequency For Senior Yoga

Based on the factors above, seniors should aim to practice yoga at least two to three times per week. This frequency can provide enough time for the body to adapt to the practice and see improvements in flexibility, strength, and balance.

However, seniors who are new to yoga or have health conditions may need to start with shorter, less intense sessions and gradually build up to more frequent or longer practices. It’s also important to listen to the body and rest when needed, rather than pushing through pain or discomfort.

Overall, practicing yoga can be a safe and effective way for seniors to improve their physical and mental health. By considering the factors above and starting with a recommended frequency of two to three times per week, seniors can enjoy the benefits of yoga without overexerting themselves.

Tips for Senior Yoga Practice

Safety Precautions

Seniors should always consult with their doctor before starting any new exercise routine. It is important to inform the yoga instructor of any medical conditions or injuries. Seniors should also listen to their body and not push themselves too hard. If a pose causes pain or discomfort, they should modify or skip it.

Suitable Types of Yoga

Gentle yoga, restorative yoga, and chair yoga are all suitable types of yoga for seniors. These types of yoga focus on relaxation, stretching, and breathing rather than challenging poses. Seniors may also benefit from yoga classes specifically designed for seniors.

Modifications and Props For Senior Yoga

Seniors may need to modify poses during senior yoga to accommodate for physical limitations. For example, they may use a chair for support or modify a pose to be done on the floor instead of standing. Props such as blocks, straps, and blankets can also be used to help seniors achieve proper alignment and support.

Overall, seniors can benefit from practicing yoga as long as they take the necessary precautions and choose the appropriate type of yoga. By listening to their body and making modifications as needed, seniors can enjoy the physical and mental benefits of yoga.

my health is important because

My Health Is Important Because….

I am approached quite often by folks my age and older asking what I’m doing to lose the weight I have and how I’m kept it off.  Unfortunately, when I give them the answer, the response is more often than not “I can’t do that because……” This post was originally written on Father’s Day for a reason. I’m going to tell you why your health is important BECAUSE…..

My dad passed away when I was a senior in high school.  The year was 1979.  My little brother was 10 years old and I was the oldest of four kids at 17.  Dad was not feeling well at work and his buddies tried to get him to go to the hospital but he thought if he could just get home, he would be able to lie down and might feel better.  Dad had a massive heart attack about 5 minutes from our house.  He never made it home.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my dad but I truly miss him on Father’s Day.  He was a very special man.  He worked 2 jobs so that mom could stay home with us 4 kids.

Although he did quit smoking when I was younger (I don’t remember him smoking), weight was always an issue along with stress.  Exercise was not really something that was a priority at that time.  I don’t remember any of the adults in our family or neighborhood being active.  They would sit on the steps and watch us kids play but I don’t remember the adults participating.

Heading into my 40’s, I’ll be honest.  There were many times I thought to myself am I going to make it to 45? 50?  I look exactly like my father and have the same body type.  There is a difference, however, in that I have always exercised.

Starting from when I was a kid playing softball and swimming with the swim team then hit and miss in my 20’s but fairly regularly in my 30’s and now into my 60’s as a fitness instructor and yoga teacher.

I feel physically better now than I did in my 30’s.  I also quit smoking when I hit 40 which made a big difference in how I felt.  My blood pressure is never been above 120/80 and is usually in the 110/70 range.  My cholesterol and sugar are all great.

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I made the decision long ago that my health was important.  First I married my high school sweetheart and although there were some ups and downs, we’ve been married 37 years now.  My health is important because I plan to enjoy every year we have together.

My health is also important because I have two beautiful daughters now in their 20’s and 30’s.  I want to see them become who they want to be and reach their goals and dreams.  If they choose to have kids, my health is important because I want to be the type of grandma that my mom and my husband’s mom has been to my kids.

Another reason my health is important is because giving back to the community is a top priority for me.  I want to help those struggling to create a business that provides them with the freedom they want and need so that they can be with their families,and not having to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from.

I haven’t thought about where my next paycheck is coming from in many years and could not imagine being in a j-o-b that I hated.  We also support local animal rescues and have quite a few rescue animals ourselves including 3 dogs, 2 horses and 1 cat.  We live on 4 acres in a rural town that allows us to not only have these animals but operate our business at the same time.

So right now, my question to you is why is your health important?  Sit down and start with the sentence “My health is important because……” as I did above.  You may find the answers you didn’t know you were searching for. Follow those answers – it could mean the difference between life and death.

Stop calling this woman. Your health depends on it.

Tis the season.  The season of non-stop commercials showing everything you absolutely must buy this year if you want a happy family on Christmas Day.  Not sure about you but for me the older I get, the less I need.  Over the past few years, I’ve been working hard to keep purchases to a minimum. Only buying what I need when I need it. Bottom line is I don’t need anything and I really hate to shop.

My lifelong best friend in Cleveland knows how much I hate shopping so when we get together that is one thing she knows not to put on our list of things to do. Watching the non-stop parade of commercials that began before Thanksgiving can seem almost insane to someone like me that literally hates to shop.  Marketers are VERY good at getting you to think you need something you have never thought about before. After all, how many pet rocks were sold way back when. Or more recently the fidget spinner thing.  I really couldn’t wrap my brain around that one but kids seemed to love it.

There is one commercial that seems to keep appearing whether it is on TV, social media or via email. I also think it’s one of those gifts that most of us do NOT need.  What is it?  Ask Alexa. She can do anything or so it seems that way from the commercials.   (NOTE: You can find information on Alexa using our Amazon affiliate link here:  Echo Spot with Alexa)

Want the front porch light on? Ask Alexa. Want to find out what movies are playing near you? Ask Alexa.  Need to know what the weather is going to be tomorrow? Ask Alexa.  Want to change the TV station? Ask Alexa.  Don’t feel like setting an alarm clock? Ask Alexa. Want pizza for dinner? Alexa will order it from Dominos for you. Don’t feel like reading the kids a bedtime story? Alexa will.  Need your living room vacuumed? Alexa will get Roomba right on that for you.  Windows on your car frozen? No worries! Alexa will start your car for you.  House seem a little warm? Alexa will turn down the thermostat for you.  And the list goes on and I am sure will expand to do even more things in the future.

When did it become so hard to turn on a light? Or change a TV channel.  When I was a kid, my dad had four remote controls – they were myself, my two sisters and one brother.  We had the difficult task of getting up and going over to the TV to change the station using a dial.  Child abuse I tell you!

I understand we live in a time crunched world but every single time you call Alexa to perform a menial task for you means that is one more time you didn’t physically move.  Not one finger.  Remember the less we move, the less we move.

Yes Alexa can be an important life tool for those that need the assistance but the rest of us? I hope you’re tired of hearing the name Alexa because it’s better to get up off your butt and do it yourself. Save Alexa for the tasks that need done when you are not home. Have a wonderful week.

To your health,


You are more than numbers on a scale.

you are more than numbers on a scale how to stay fit over 50

Probably once a week maybe more, I talk to someone who is upset by the numbers they see when they step on the scale. And I SO get it because I always have the same gut reaction. Generally I want to pitch the scale out back and let the horses trample it. You guessed it. I have a love – HATE relationship with my scale. Stupid digital numbers anyway.

You work so hard to stay on track the majority of the time with your nutrition and exercise, YET the scale does not seem to reflect that hard work. This is when I tell my folks to remember they are SO much more than those numbers on a scale.  (I recommend Yoga as the BEST form of exercise for folks over 50. This is the program I follow when I’m not teaching:  Best at home exercise: Yoga Burn

Breaking it down, yes the scale does give you a PART of the picture but you are so much more than that one little number.  For the past 12 months or so, every visit I had to the doctor was reflecting my blood pressure higher than it should be.  I could not figure out what was going on.  My weight although not where I like it had not changed.  Nothing really changed. Or had it?

It had. Unknowingly, I was not doing as much aerobic exercise as I had in the past. An increase in cardio exercise during the week brought my blood pressure back in the range it should be – and where I like it.  Did my weight change? It did not. But the 20 points off my blood pressure are even more important to me than 5 pounds off the scale as there is heart disease in my family.  I don’t take that on personally but I am aware of it and know my blood pressure is a part of my overall health picture so needs to be kept in check.

My mother has completely eliminated her diabetic medication. Another friend has eliminated her blood pressure medication.  And another friend was able to stay OFF medication.  What did we all have in common?  We all exercise and stay on track for the most part. Maybe not all the time, but we are on track the MAJORITY of the time.

We need to remember to look at the BIG picture and not be so hard on ourselves.  Health and wellness is a journey and journeys like hills will have ups and downs.  Taking it a step further, CELEBRATE our successes instead of being so darn focused on what we perceive as failure.

So the next time you step on the scale and you do not see what you like, think about what you HAVE improved on.  Maybe you can walk longer today than you did a month ago.  Maybe you are taking a harder fitness class now than you did a month ago.  Maybe you have changed your nutrition so that you are eating more fruits and vegetables than you did last year.  Or you have replaced soda in your diet and now drink more water.  ALL SUCCESSES.

One step forward today is better than no steps at all.  Have a wonderful week.

To your health,



How To Get Back On Track.

How was summer?  Did you enjoy a vacation or two?  How about those picnics and barbeques?  They were fun right?  So have you slipped out of your shorts and tried to get into a pair of jeans and they’re a wee bit tighter than the last time you wore them? Don’t worry! It happens to all of us at one time or another.

Summer has us more active but also knocks us out of our routine especially when it comes to what we are eating and drinking.  Then when we try to put on clothes we have not worn in a few months, we realize just how far off track we may have gotten.

It’s okay. It happened. Let it go. Don’t beat yourself up.  Focus on getting back on track.  Decide right this moment that you are going to move back to eating clean.  Below are a few more tips to help you ease back into a healthy lifestyle this fall:

Stay hydrated.  Surprisingly, when it is hot it quite easy to get off track with drinking our water which results in our becoming dehydrated.  Make drinking water throughout the day a priority.  For me I have gone back to carrying a gallon of water with me no matter where I go. Whether I am in the office or at the gym, that jug of water is with me.  Seeing it visually go down or NOT go down is enough to push me to drink the water my body needs.  Don’t add artificial sweeteners to your water.  If you really need flavor, opt for a slice of fruit.

Cleanse your system.  No I’m not talking about a juice cleanse or anything like it.  What I am talking about is removing the processed, packaged foods, and snacks that may have found their way into your diet.  Focus on eating whole, real foods like vegetables, fruits and lean meats.  It’s time to be picky about what gets in your body.

Rest.  Summer fun that leads into nights, may have robbed us of the sleep our bodies need.  Not only do we feel exhausted, when we are tired we may not make the best decisions as far as eating and exercise.  Shoot for 8 hours of sleep every night.

Exercise. Fall is the PERFECT time to get back on track with your exercise routine.  Grab your sneakers and favorite workout clothes, put them on and head out the door.  Remember if you are starting back take it easy in the beginning.  The most important thing is that you get up and get moving.

Have a wonderful week!

To your health,