Seniors benefit greatly from maintaining an active lifestyle long into their retirement years. The benefits of exercise for seniors are well-documented, but many older adults struggle to know where to start. It's important to ease into exercise in a way that's physically safe but also intense enough to gently increase the heart rate and get the blood flowing.

Yoga holds a multitude of health benefits that can be positive for senior health. According to the Mayo Clinic, yoga can decrease stress, help combat high blood pressure, and increase balance, flexibility and strength. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of the best yoga poses for seniors.

Virabhadrasana: Warrior II pose

This gentle, strength-building pose is perfect for older adults. Not only does it help build the muscles in the legs and arms, it increases hip flexibility. To get into Warrior II, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg behind you, moving the foot so it's at a 90-degree angle with your right foot. Move your left foot back while turning your hips so that they are square toward your left-hand side. Once your right knee is over the right ankle, bent at a 90-degree angle, windmill your arms so that they are parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.

Bitilasana/Marjaryasana: Cow/Cat pose

Cow and cat pose are often done together, as they move the back in both directions, stretching the area and providing pain relief. This spine-centric pose is great for seniors with mild discomfort in the shoulder and back area – just check with your doctor before attempting it if you have any history or injury or are feeling more acute pain.

Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders. For cow pose, drop your belly down toward the floor, curving your spine inward. Reach your heat upward in the direction of the ceiling, stretching your neck. Next, move slowly into cat pose. Bring your spine upward so that it reaches upward toward the ceiling in an arc formation. Drop your head so that the area around your shoulders remains lose.

Tadasana: Mountain pose

You may perceive mountain pose to be incredible easy, but there's more to it than simply standing at the front of your mat. The pose is great for seniors because it can increase balance, something with which older adults often struggle. It's also good for posture.

Start by standing at the front of your mat with your toes gently touching and your heels just a few centimeters apart. Shift your weight back and forth until you achieve balance between the two feet. Bring your arms slightly up, turning your palms away from you. Concentrate on distributing your weight evenly and rooting down into the ground.

How much can yoga benefit senior health?