Yoga promotes a healthy and strong body, mind and spirit; and at the same time reduces a number of ills that come with ageing. It helps to…
- maintain muscle softness and flexibility; reduce joint swelling; increase joint mobility and strength- thus improving overall balance and stability.
- aid digestion and improve cardiovascular and sleep.
- improve and well-being and eradicate depression and anxiety
- keep the mind alert and awake
All these help in reducing osteoporosis, arthritis, heart diseases and other conditions that accompany ageing.
Why DVDs are the best yoga “teachers” for seniors
The good thing about yoga is that anybody can practice it, from 5 year-old kids to 70 year-old grandmothers.
And DVDs are the best yoga “teachers” for seniors because of the comfort they bring. They allow you practice yoga in the confine of your bedroom where you are comfortable and at ease. As long as you can get into the positions, you’re good to go. Why would you get into traffic to go to yoga classes when you can have it right in your home?
In addition to this, the instructors are really helpful and the DVDs help you learn at your own pace. You can rewind a section until you get a hang of the asanas.
- Best yoga DVDs for the elderly: Our top 7 picks
- 1. Jane Adams’ Gentle Yoga: 7 Practices For Your Day
- 2. Jane Adams’ Balance And Strength Exercises For Seniors
- 3. Yoga for Seniors with Jane Adams (2nd edition)
- 4. Lilias! AM & PM Yoga Workouts for Seniors
- 5. Chair and Standing Routines: Ageless Yoga, Vol. 1
- 6. Relax Into Yoga for Seniors – Safe and Simple Practices for Older Adults
- 7. Lilias! Yoga Gets Better With Age For Seniors
Best yoga DVDs for the elderly: Our top 7 picks
The market abounds with Yoga DVDs by more-than-countable teachers, and making the right choice can be confusing. But we’ve made things easier for you by scouring the market and digging out the best Yoga DVDs made for seniors. And here are our top picks.
1. Jane Adams’ Gentle Yoga: 7 Practices For Your Day
The Jane Adams’ Gentle Yoga DVD is tailored to mid-lifers (people aged between 40 and 70). They are designed to help build strength, and increase flexibility and balance. These set of exercises, if practiced often, help improve posture and grace of movement; and ultimately to achieve a relaxed body and sound mind.
The exercises are taught and designed by Jane Adams, RYT 500, who has been a yoga practitioner since 1976. She specializes in yoga for healthy ageing and knows how to talk one through each and every step of the exercise with clear instructions and demonstrations.
- The DVD comes with 3 exercises designed for the 3 major times of the day. There’s a Morning Practice (18 minutes) which awakens the body with some standing movements; a Mid-day Relief from Desk & Computer Work Practice (19 minutes); and a Relaxing Evening Practice (29 minutes) which helps you to unwind for a great night rest.
- It also includes 3 practices aimed at improving several needs of mid-lifers: Improving Balance (22 minutes), Core Strength and Flexibility (34 minutes), and Standing Poses for leg and hip flexibility (23 minutes).
- There’s a relaxing Full-Body Practice (34 minutes) done by lying on your back in addition to a guided relaxation practice (8 minutes).
- These 7 practices help you learn over 100 yoga poses.
2. Jane Adams’ Balance And Strength Exercises For Seniors
The Jane Adams’ Balance and Strength Exercises for Seniors is another DVD taught and designed by expert yoga instructor Jane Adams. It contains 9 exercises geared at seniors to help improve their balance among other things.
The practice sessions are drawn from the best traditional exercises, tai chi based movements, modified yoga poses as well as easy dance-based stepping movements. The exercises challenge one’s balance in numerous ways such that graceful and confident movements will be possible after a few weeks. Most of the practices are done standing except for a few cases.
Here are the exercises contained in this dvd:
- A chair-seated practice to strengthen the body (17 min.)
- Classic stationary balances performed with a chair & seated core-strength work (31 min.)
- Practical walking balances & dance-based stepping movements to improve cardiovascular health. It is performed with a chair (16 min.)
- Challenging walking & stepping balances, done without a chair (18 min.)
- Leg strength exercises (13 min.)
- Upper-body seated strength & mobility exercises (12 min.)
- Lower body stretches (13 min.)
- Tai Chi easy full-body mobility practice (17 min.)
- Tai Chi practice with 8 forms, which is a modified form of traditional tai chi (8 min.)
- The dvd also includes a short (3-7 minute) tutorial for learning each of the 8 tai chi forms.
3. Yoga for Seniors with Jane Adams (2nd edition)
Yoga for Seniors with Jane Adams is specially made for people older than 70 years. Like the first two DVDs, it is designed and taught by yoga veteran instructor Jane Adams. It contains 3 practices (levels 1 -3) geared towards helping you maintain good posture and master full deep breathing.
The practices end with a short relaxation and meditation which promotes mental alertness and physical relaxation.
- Level 1 (26 minutes) is done seated in a chair. It helps to improve strength, range-of-motion, joint health, and posture.
- Level 2 (40 minutes) alternates between sitting in a chair and standing alongside and holding it for stability. It helps in developing strength and flexibility. It contains lots of easy movements to improve balance and increase foot, ankle and leg strength.
- Just like Level 2, Level 3 (55 minutes) also alternates between sitting and standing. However the exercises are tougher and last longer. More time is spent on standing and balancing. It is broken down into 6 smaller parts for flexibility.
- This DVD is aimed at helping seniors live more independently. It places a lot of emphasis on working the muscles and joints used most in everyday activities.
4. Lilias! AM & PM Yoga Workouts for Seniors
Lilias Folan is another popular veteran yoga instructor. She hosted Lilias, Yoga and You, a PBS television show which aired for 29 years (1970 – 1999) in the United States. She is one of the great pioneers for yoga; she made it useful and easily understood for everyone.
The Lilias AM & PM Yoga Workouts for Seniors DVD is designed to bring out immediate and latent benefits of yoga to seniors. It teaches you how to listen to your body, and find your inner wisdom.
This DVD is divided into two main sections suitable for different times of the day. There’s an AM workout session as well as a PM workout session.
A.M. Yoga Workout
- This is a suitable way to start the day. It frees your natural energy, helps build your strength and confidence and also improves blood circulation and range of motion in joints.
- In addition, it helps maintain a strong back, contains several breathing techniques to learn how to clear the mind.
- The flexible exercises prepare you for the day brimming with vitality.
P.M. Yoga Workout
- This session contains exercises to help soothe and strengthen your back, calm your nerves and uplift your mood. It releases stress in the jaw, neck, shoulders & back and also gets rid of headaches.
- The practices are stretches the entire body so as to maintain healthy knees & joints and in the end eases you off to sleep.
5. Chair and Standing Routines: Ageless Yoga, Vol. 1
The Chair and Standing Routines: Ageless Yoga DVD is very useful for seniors who are unable to sit on the ground, although it’s as good for people of other ages. It is for the stiff and flexible, and people with medical conditions such as arthritis. It helps you remain spry as you grow older.
The lessons in this DVD are taught by John Schlorholtz , a principal instructor at Havard University Center for Wellness. John is a veteran yoga practitioner and instructor. He is quite adept at gently taking his audience through each practice.
- This yoga DVD offers over 60 practices, each lasting from 5 to 90 minutes. It includes 16 chair yoga routines which promote stronger joints and muscles.
- The exercises teach new skills for breathing, movement, relaxation and meditation. These practices include gentle as well as gently challenging work-outs.
- The lessons are presented with warmth, respect, and an appreciation for each person’s physical and spiritual uniqueness.
- The innovative teachings help improve one’s understanding of the ancient healing art.
- The DVD teaches lessons on these helpful topics: joint freedom, strength, stretch, loosening up, and balance and breath.
6. Relax Into Yoga for Seniors – Safe and Simple Practices for Older Adults
Relax into Yoga for Seniors fulfills the yoga needs of seniors, ageing adults and people with health challenges. It is filled with safe and simple practices to boost one’s health, both physically and mentally. The lessons are drawn from the best of modern medicine and wisdom from ancient yoga traditions.
They are taught by Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff. Both instructors are experienced in working with seniors and people with health challenges to have safe, enjoyable and effective practice sessions.
Relax Into Yoga is perfect for seniors who are interested in safely and effectively incorporating yoga into their wellness routine.
The props needed to perform these poses are a sturdy chair, a yoga mat, a blanket and/or a cushion.
- This DVD contains 4 main practices for different mobility levels. There are practices for when you’re in bed, in a chair, standing and lying down.
- It comes with 3 Special Practices which help to build your strength and stability, improve your balance and promote relaxation.
- The DVD includes a presentation on safety guidelines to note while doing the practices so that you won’t end up at the doctor’s after a challenging exercise.
- There are large English subtitles as well for easy viewing and better understanding.
7. Lilias! Yoga Gets Better With Age For Seniors
Lilias! Yoga Gets Better With Age For Seniors contains safe and easy ways to stretch and strengthen the body. They also improve your flexibility and increase your energy in addition to making you stronger.
The exercises are taught by veteran yoga instructor Lilias Folan, who is known the world over for her influence in medical health and exercise. She is popular for her PBS show which aired for over two decades in the United States.
- This yoga DVD is split into 7 main sections: The introduction; The Three “R”s: Relax, Resist & Restretch; Bed Top Yoga; Posture Warm-Up; Postures for a Desert Island; The Inner Smile; Lilias: The Joy Is In The Journey.
- The exercises combine to help to slow down the ageing process, enhance well-being and diminish aches and pains.
- It is also great for people who are out of shape and want to get back in shape.
- The exercises are presented in an inviting manner instead of an intimidating one. The level of difficulty is perfect for beginners, seniors, and those out of yoga practice for years.
What to look for when buying a yoga DVD for seniors
Buying a yoga DVD for a senior looks harder than it seem. What are the things that should be considered before buying one?
What type of senior are you? There are spry 80-something year-olds and some 60-year-old seniors find it hard to move. Don’t go for a DVD containing poses that will send you to the hospital.
Are you comfortable with the setting? Each DVD has a cover depicting the scene in which the lessons take place. Are you an indoors person or you prefer open spaces like the park?
What about the teaching style? Are you comfortable with the instructor, their techniques and mannerisms?
Does the DVD offer the best value? There’s a number of yoga DVD for seniors out there going for an average of 20 bucks. Some offer a quick introduction to yoga, some offer an hour introduction, some offer hours of yoga orientation and some don’t bother with an introduction. The thing is you love the program, you will stick to the DVD and make it part of your daily routine. Everyone wants to get the best value for money but the most important thing is finding a program that you love. Don’t allow a few bucks hinder you from getting a program you’re interested in that will improve your physical and mental being.
As we grow older, our muscles and joints become less effective and we become more susceptible to some chronic health problems. Yoga helps reduce the effects and occurrence of such problems.
And DVDs are a handy way to do yoga sessions. It beats driving to a yoga class where you might not even be comfortable. Regular yoga practice (2-3 times/week) can help keep you healthy.