New book eases older adults into yoga

By Nancy Szokan

The Washington Post

Plagued by stiff or painful joints as we age, some of us consider yoga. We sign up for a “gentle” yoga class but find ourselves pushing too hard to keep up, feeling inadequate, becoming more rigid instead of more relaxed. So we try a yoga video, which we can do alone at home. But there’s still that incredibly flexible teacher on the screen, effortlessly making us feel tense and clumsy.

In contrast, there’s something soothingly achievable about a recently published book titled “Relax into Yoga for Seniors: A Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility and Pain Relief.”

Maybe it’s the illustrations, simple black-and-white line drawings of slightly pudgy people in baggy T-shirts and pants doing really simple maneuvers.

Maybe it’s the large type with lots of open space (the book is a largish paperback) or the way it stays open so we can prop it up to follow as we practice. Maybe it’s the refreshing lack of jargon, either medical or spiritual.

Whatever it is, it goes down easily. Authors Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff, who specialize in therapeutic yoga and who run a teaching network called Yoga for Seniors, guide you through six weeks of step-by-step, manageable exercises.

Everything you do the first week can be done lying on your back in bed — a three-part breath sequence to “reset” your state of mind, a range-of-motion sequence to gently stretch your neck, arms, legs and spine, and a period of mindful relaxation.

The next week, you get some simple standing poses. The next week, you drop those and try a few things you do while sitting down. And so on.

While some of the poses and exercises have classic yoga names (mountain, warrior, etc.), others just describe what the motion — for example, the “as-if chair” exercise involves sitting upright in a chair, tensing your thigh muscles as if you were going to stand and then relaxing.

When you’ve gone through the six weeks, the authors suggest you create your own routines from the menu of dozens of exercises you’ve learned.

And look! You’re doing yoga.

Talk to us

More in Life

Bill Howell, a plant pathologist from Prosser, created the Lucy Rose apple variety as a cross between the Honeycrisp and an Airlie Red variety. They are notable for their red centers.(Jennifer Bardsley)
Sweet treats for the holiday season direct from Washington growers

Washington State farmers survived a difficult year. The fruits of their labor deserve admiration.

Roger Fisher pauses while jamming in the garden at his Monroe home.
Monroe resident Roger Fisher reflects on his time with Heart

He was a co-founder of the Seattle group that rose to worldwide fame in the 1970s. He left the band when his romance with Nancy Wilson went south.

The Pacific Ice rink under construction at Port of Everett on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett unveils seasonal ice rink on the waterfront

The outdoor rink will be open through the end of January. The port plans for it to return annually.

The 2022 Mini Cooper is available in two-door or four-door hardtop models. A two-door soft-top convertible model is also offered. (Manufacturer photo)
2022 Mini Cooper reinforces the brand’s reputation for fun

An exterior freshening, new 8.8-inch touchscreen and value-driven Oxford Edition model are highlights.

Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Leavenworth, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Don Sarver, left, and Kyle James, right, snowshoe on the Skyline Lake Trail on Jan. 26, 2019, in Leavenworth. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Outdoors classes and activities around Snohomish County

The listings include Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest updates and REI Lynnwood workshops.

Baden-Baden: Getting naked with strangers

Relaxing at the spa resort of Baden-Baden in southern Germany’s Black Forest,… Continue reading

Where have all the workers gone?

Many of us wonder why there are so many vacancies in so… Continue reading

Book-related events in Snohomish County.
Author events and poetry readings around Snohomish County

The listings include Third Place Books, Everett Public Library and Neverending Bookshop events.

Lady Gaga in "House of Gucci." (Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc./TNS)
A stone-cold Lady Gaga brings down the ‘House of Gucci’

Ridley Scott’s movie dives into a luxury brand and a family laid low by greed and infighting.

Most Read