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Rise and Shine – with Yoga!
The Innovative Use of Yoga for Getting out of Bed with Safety and Confidence

By Kathy Glenn, Janet Hennard and Jayne Shale


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/adultfalls.html.

 


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 http://www.brightpathyoga.com.

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 management.

 

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