ARTICLES / General /A Job With Many Benefits /
By Kathy Glenn, Janet Hennard and Jayne Shale
Simple torso twists. In the same standing
position as above, twist the upper torso from
side to side, letting the arms loosely swing
around the body. Be sure to keep the abdominal
muscles tight by keeping your belly button
pulled toward your spine and hips as stable as
possible. This movement increases balance and
helps to loosen the spine as it bathes your
spinal joints in synovial fluid.
Chair pose. Lean against a wall, feet
parallel and hip distance apart, hands on hips.
Press the feet into the floor as you bend your
knees, engaging the tops of the thighs. Bring
your belly button toward your spine. This pose
strengthens all leg muscles as well as the
muscles of the buttocks.
Tree. Using one hand on a wall or chair to
support yourself, shift your weight to your left
foot. Standing tall, with your belly button
toward your spine and your shoulders back, lift
the right heel off the floor, bringing it near
the left ankle. Bring the arch of the right foot
toward the left ankle, keeping the ball of the
right foot on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and
alternate feet. Work to hold for 25 seconds. The
tree pose helps to build coordination, balance,
and leg and hip flexor strength.
Getting up in the morning doesn’t have to be a
dreaded or dangerous activity. Keeping your muscles
lengthened and strengthened using these simple yoga
poses will help build confidence as well as
flexibility and strength, so you can rise and shine
for years to come!
1 The State of Aging and Health in America 2007.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
Merck Company Foundation: Whitehouse Station, NJ.http://www.cdc.gov/aging/pdf/saha_2007.pdf.
2 Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Kathy Glenn, MS RD LD, RYT-500, is a registered
dietitian who practices in Dallas, Texas. She now
combines her knowledge of nutrition and healthful
eating with the benefits of yoga. Kathy teaches yoga
classes, workshops, and private yoga therapy.
Janet Hennard, MA, RYT-500, is a yoga therapist
and yoga instructor in Richardson, Texas. She is an
active member of the International Association of
Yoga Therapists and founder of Bright Path Yoga. She
offers private yoga classes as well as classroom
instruction for special populations. Her website is
Jayne Shale, LCSW, RYT-500, is a licensed
clinical social worker, a registered yoga teacher
and certified yoga therapist. She is a member of the
International Yoga Therapists Association. Her areas
of special interest include the use of yoga and
mindfulness-based practices for substance use
relapse prevention, anxiety, depression and stress