Abdominal Strength, Backbends and Inversions Vinyasa
Two healthy new ways with Avocados!

Yoga for Graceful Aging

As we age, the body tends to lose muscle mass and become less firm. This not only can lead to instability and injury, but also to a loss of our more youthful shape!

The good news? Though aging is a natural process, a regular dynamic yoga practice combined with good breathing can keep you vital, strong and youthful for longer-inside and out! The following sequence of postures focuses on building strength in and creating a toned look to thighs, abdomen and waist, and arms. Aging Gracefully!

Psst…these postures will help keep you feeling strong and looking toned no matter what age you are!

1. Tadasana – Mountain Pose

Start standing with eyes closed. Tune into the weight bearing on your feet. Relax. Notice the breath moving in and out.Start to breathe in a more deliberate way, smoothing the breath out and slowing it down. If you are able to, switch on the subtle Ujjayi Pranayama breath, hearing a subtle sound in the throat.

Feel the inhale lift the heart area. On the exhale draw the lower abdomen in and up, and let the chest fall.

Once the breath is smooth and steady, inhale as you raise the arms and lift the chest.

2. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Exhale as you fold forward at the hips. Bend the knees if you need to-try to bring the belly as close to the thighs as you comfortably can.

3. Ardha Uttanasana – Half Standing Forward Bend

Inhale as you left the torso up and hold at half way. Have the arms beside the ears as shown only if you are strong enough to keep the lower back hollow and the chin tucked in. Otherwise modify by taking the arms out to the sides, or placing the hands behind the waist.

4. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend

Exhale as you fold again, belly to thighs.

5. Utkatasana – Chair Pose

Inhale as you bend the knees and raise the arms beside the ears. Take the weight back into the heels as you bend at the knees. Try to hollow the lower back. Keep the chin tucked in.

5. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

From a hands and knees position, lift the hips up and back into Downward Dog.

Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Feel the inhale lift the heart, and the exhale draw the belly in.

6. Plank Pose

Step the feet together, and step the toes an inch or two further back. Inhale as you move the shoulders directly above the wrists.

7. Chatturanga Dandasana – Four Limbed Staff Pose

Exhale as you bend the elbows. Keep the elbows in, so that they scrape the side ribs. Try to keep the whole spine in one line-don’t let the hips sag! If you are unable to do this, modify the pose by beginning with the knees on the floor instead.

8. Urdvha Mukha Svanasana – Upward Dog

Inhale as you roll onto the tops of the feet, lift the chest up and straighten the arms. If you cannot lift the knees from the floor, or if the shoulders hunch, modify this pose by keeping the legs, and the lower abdomen on the floor, and lifting only up to navel height, arms bent in mini Cobra Pose.

9. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Dog

Exhale back into Downward Dog, either rolling over the toes, or coming back via hands and knees position.

Repeat this sequence from 7-11 between 3 and 6 times if desired.

10. Vasishtasana – Side Plank Pose

From Downward Dog, take the feet together and bring the shoulders over the wrists in Plank Pose (see pic 8). Then roll onto the little toe side of the right foot and the right palm only. Try to keep the torso level front to back, and the whole body parallel to the floor. Inhale as you raise the left arm.

Exhale as you return to Plank Pose

Then inhale and repeat on the left side.

Exhale back into Plank Pose.

11. Salabhasana – Locust Pose

Come onto the belly, via Chatturanga (pic 9) if you wish. turn the head to one side.


Then place the forehead onto the floor, arms down beside the body, palms turned upwards.

Feel that the inside edges of the big toes are touching and that the tops of the feet are pressing into the floor.

With a good inhale, raise the chest, arms and thighs from the floor.

Keep the legs straight, and the feet and knees together!

Stay for 5-10 good breaths, then rest.

Repeat between 3 and 6 times.

Then rest in Child Pose.

12. Navasana – Boat Pose

Start sitting, with the knees bent, feet on the floor and hands behind you on the mat. Keeping the knees together and feet together, inhale as you lift the feet to knee height and arms parallel to the floor. Try to keep the chest open and the lower back hollow, not rounded.

Stay in the pose for 5-10 good breaths, then rest.

Repeat from 3 to 6 times as desired.

13. Savasana – Corpse Pose

Rest completely for 5-10 minutes.

Abdominal Strength, Backbends and Inversions Vinyasa
Two healthy new ways with Avocados!

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Flo Fenton is a senior yoga teacher and registered yoga therapist, based in Byron Bay NSW Australia. She is a major and consistent contributor to Australian Yoga Life Magazine. Flo's focus is on finding our natural ease within the postures, and on cultivating an ever deepening awareness of the relationship between the body, the breath, and our state of mind. 'Paring back' each pose and starting always from a point of full awareness of the essential foundation of each posture, we build awareness of where we can remain with comfort in each pose, through the medium of graceful, flowing sequences in synchrony with the breath. Her style is both meditative and enlivening, balancing the active and the passive sides of our nature. As we focus within, developing the capacity to witness ourselves, the sessions themselves become a form of Yoga Therapy, which flows out into our lives beyond the class-room.