Diabetes Forecast

Gentle Yoga Poses

By Tracey Neithercott ,

The following three poses from yoga therapist Susan Winter Ward's book Yoga for the Young at Heart: Accessible Yoga for Every Body will help you build muscle, increase flexibility, and knock out stress. While you can practice yoga anywhere, it's smart to first take a few classes to make sure you're doing the poses correctly. A good instructor will guide you through the poses and help you avoid injury.

yoga poses


The Pose: Arms Overhead
The Benefits: Strengthens arms, chest, shoulders, back, and abs.
The Steps:

  1. Stand tall with your neck extended, chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Keep arms relaxed at your side, palms facing out.
  3. As you inhale, raise your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor and with palms facing up. Then, while still inhaling, raise them overhead, palms facing each other.
  4. Lift through your fingertips and press into the floor with your feet. 
  5. Inhale and feel your ribs expand as you lengthen your waist. Look upward.
  6. Exhale and stretch your fingertips to the ceiling. Keep shoulders down and shoulder blades flat against your back.
  7. Take three to five slow, deep breaths, then move on to the next pose ...

yoga poses


The Pose: Hands Clasped Behind
The Benefits: Stretches shoulders, chest, and abs.
The Steps:

  1. From Arms Overhead, exhale and press through the palms of your hands to slowly lower your arms to your sides. Keep your chin pulled back toward your throat.
  2. Press your shoulder blades flat against your back, bend your elbows, and clasp your hands behind you, at waist level.
  3. Inhale deeply.
  4. As you exhale fully, press your knuckles toward the floor.
  5. Inhale deeply.
  6. Exhale completely while straightening arms a little bit.
  7. Continue for five more breaths, then move on to the next pose ...

yoga poses


The Pose: Child's Pose
The Benefits: Provides deep relaxation
The Steps:

  1. Get on your hands and knees, toes pointed and tops of the feet on the floor. Exhale and lower your butt to your heels.
  2. Rest your forehead on the floor, turning your head to one side.
  3. Extend your arms out in front of you, leaving a small bend in the elbow, and rest them on the floor.
  4. As you inhale, feel your rib cage expand. As you exhale, feel your body relax into the pose.
  5. Rest in pose while taking long, belly-expanding breaths in and then exhaling deeply.


  • If you need to support your feet, place a rolled towel or blanket under your ankles.
  • If you need to support your knees, place a blanket or pillow between your thighs and calves.
  • If you can't reach the floor, place a pillow or blanket under your chest and head.

Click here for more tips on adding yoga to your exercise plan.



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