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AARP The Magazine

Yoga in Your 50s, 60s and 70s — and Beyond

Stop stress, boost bone health and lose weight with these easy poses

3 Reasons to Practice Yoga in Your 60s 

1. Reduce anxiety

Yoga induces the relaxation response, an alpha state between awake and asleep that helps modulate the way the body responds to stress. When faced with a potential threat (or ongoing stress), your heart beats faster, your muscles tense and you start to sweat. Yoga stops this process in its tracks, reducing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration.

2. Protect your joints

During your late 50s and early 60s, you may begin to notice that your joints aren't as fluid as they used to be. Practicing yoga regularly can help lubricate joints, staving off debilitating disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. "It's important to start caring for your joints, to help maintain your independence and preserve your ability to perform daily activities as you get older — things like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, getting dressed," says Amy Wheeler, yoga professor at California State University at San Bernardino.

3. Build strength and balance

Yoga's slow, measured movements and strengthening poses can help you achieve better balance and prevent falls as you age. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults; every year, one in three adults 65 or older falls. Yoga gives you the tools now to prevent a bad fall so you can still move around in your 80s.

2 Poses for Your 60s

Yoga Cobblers

Illustration by Steve Sanford

COBBLER'S POSE: Sit with your spine straight and legs spread out. Bend your knees and bring your feet toward your pelvis, so the soles of your feet touch. Press your elbows on your thighs, coaxing them closer to the floor.

Yoga Warrior Pose

Illustration by Steve Sanford

WARRIOR 1: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Keeping your right foot stationary, bend your right knee deeply and place your left foot about 3 feet behind you, pointing your left toes outward. With your front knee bent at a right angle, raise both arms near your ears and look up. Take three breaths, then return to a standing position. Repeat.

Next page: Yoga poses for your 70s and beyond — and a pose for every age. »

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