ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi

According to experts, Yoga is a versatile fitness practice that can be adapted to suit people of all ages, body types and health conditions. By modifying poses, adjusting sequences and incorporating props, Yoga instructors can make the practice accessible and beneficial for everyone.

Tips to adapt Yoga for different age groups, body types, individuals with specific health conditions (Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar, Founder of Akshar Yoga Kendraa, revealed how Yoga can be adapted for different groups –

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

1. Children and Teens:

  • Incorporate playful elements into the practice to keep them engaged, such as animal poses or partner poses.
  • Focus on building strength, flexibility and balance through age-appropriate poses.
  • Keep sessions shorter to match their attention spans and energy levels.
  • Encourage self-expression and creativity through Yoga games and activities.

2. Adults:

  • There are a number of options to accommodate different fitness levels and preferences, such as gentle Yoga, power Yoga or restorative Yoga.
  • Emphasise stress relief and relaxation techniques, especially for those with busy lifestyles or high-stress jobs.
  • Provide modifications for common issues like tight hips, stiff shoulders, or lower back pain.
  • Include mindfulness practices like meditation and breathwork to promote mental well-being.

3. Seniors:

  • Focus on gentle movements and poses to improve mobility, flexibility and balance.
  • Use chairs or other props for support during standing poses or balance exercises.
  • Incorporate seated poses and stretches to accommodate those with limited mobility or joint issues.
  • Emphasise the importance of breath awareness and relaxation techniques for stress reduction and improved sleep quality.

4. Pregnant Women:

  • Avoid poses that compress the abdomen or put pressure on the belly, such as deep twists or intense backbends.
  • Modify poses to accommodate changes in balance and center of gravity, using props like blocks or bolsters for support.
  • Focus on gentle stretches and strengthening exercises to prepare the body for childbirth and alleviate common pregnancy discomforts.
  • Emphasise pelvic floor exercises and breathing techniques to support labor and delivery.

5. Individuals with Specific Health Conditions:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional before starting a Yoga practice, especially if dealing with chronic conditions or recent injuries.
  • Modify poses to accommodate physical limitations or pain, avoiding movements that exacerbate existing issues.
  • Sign up for specialised classes or private sessions tailored to specific health concerns, such as Yoga for arthritis, Yoga for back pain, or Yoga for anxiety.
  • Educate yourself and/or students on the benefits of yoga for managing symptoms and improving overall well-being, while emphasizing the importance of listening to their bodies and practicing self-care.

Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar asserted, “Yoga is a versatile practice that can be adapted to meet the needs of individuals across different age groups, body types and health conditions. By offering modifications, variations and specialized classes, Yoga instructors can ensure that everyone can experience the benefits of Yoga, regardless of their circumstances.”