Yoga for Beginners
Anti-Anging Yoga Poses
Don't think yoga is for you? If you're feeling stiff or achy, it may be the best medicine--no headstands required. Research shows that doing a gentle yoga workout most days of the week can relieve back and arthritis pain, ramp up energy, and even temper hot flashes. And the benefits are long lasting--people reported 70% less lower-back pain 3 months after a study in which they attended a weekly yoga class and practiced at home, say researchers at West Virginia University School of Medicine. Bonus: It may also make you happier, according to research from Boston University School of Medicine. After 60 minutes of yoga, volunteers' levels of the feel-good brain chemical GABA increased by 27%.
This short, beginner-friendly plan was developed by Susan Winter Ward, who created Yoga for the Young at Heart, a video series for people over age 50 (yogaheart.com). With regular practice, you'll tone your muscles, improve flexibility, and feel younger than ever.
Workout at a Glance
You'll need: A yoga mat and a sturdy chair
How to do it: Perform poses in order, flowing from one to the next. It will take about 15 minutes. For a greater challenge and more benefits, do the routine twice or hold the poses longer.