A downward dog, a curling cat, an arching cow and a lying-down locust. What do the members of this unlikely menagerie have in common?

They’re all poses you’ll encounter in the fourth and final installment of Sixty and Me’s FREE Gentle Yoga Flows video series. Add a sphinx to the mix, and you have the most challenging of our gentle yoga workouts for seniors.

And that’s the point. If you’ve practiced enough to be comfortable with the flow series’ three earlier workouts, consider this your “final exam.” As you put your 60-plus body through its paces, instructor Cat Kabira supports your efforts with her signature spirit and sparkle.

For this practice, pull out all the props: blocks, a cushion or rolled-up towel, a strap or scarf and a chair. By the time you settle into the final shavasana, you’ll have revitalized everything from the crown of your head to the balls of your feet.

But there’s even more. Continue reading for a better understanding of what you’ve accomplished by getting to this point. And then go into the archer pose and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

Yoga Flows for Seniors: The Unexpected Gifts

At this point, you may realize that our yoga flows have been rewiring more than your body. By giving it something to focus on, they’ve also sharpened your mind. Putting it simply, you’ve begun to meditate.

As Cat expresses it:

“Meditation is another way to think of a way to focus, center and ground yourself. You know, no matter what we’ve been doing, it always is a kind of shift, a changing of the gears when we get on the mat to begin our practice.”

And what about her emphasis on “expanding your breath and using to feel inside?”

 “… where you put your mind, where you put your breath, it increases the prana. It increases oxygen and circulation. It nourishes the nervous system and helps the immune system.”

In other words, stabilizing your balance with the tree pose or your pelvis with abdominal work is a dynamic meditation. Taking long, even targeted breaths nourishes and heals your body. Even when you’re not on the mat, the mental focus you’ve learned from these practices helps stabilize and focus your whole life!

Yoga Flows after 60: The Payoff

Your reward for mastering this final yoga flow class? Like any hard-working senior, you get to graduate! Thanks to Cat’s patient and persistent training, you’re in touch with which parts of your body need more attention and are ready to move on to a real-life yoga class.

So now that you’re finally free of the myth that the perfect yoga pose exists, you have the confidence you need to walk into a classroom knowing you belong. And you future with yoga is whatever you want it to be!

What are your feelings about having completed our Gentle Yoga Flows series? What, besides the movements themselves, will help you most in coping with life after 60? What role do you see yoga playing in your future?

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