Throughout the world, numerous individuals enjoy practicing yoga. But once we hit a certain age, some of the moves involved in yoga can become challenging, if not downright impossible. However, one variation of traditional yoga that may be more appropriate in our golden years is chair yoga for seniors. Traditional yoga poses place certain demands on one’s body. We need to bend and twist in a certain way, and for some exercises, sitting on a floor mat is required. If you are not able to do that, yoga performed from a chair may be preferable!
As with traditional yoga, there are many benefits for those who practice chair yoga. Some of the advantages of chair yoga are as follows:
- Enhanced concentration
- Pain management
- Better mental clarity
- Reduced stress
- Improved flexibility, balance, strength, and more
What You Need to Know about Chair Yoga
For chair yoga, what kind of chair is needed? The options are pretty much limitless; as long as you can sit straight and upright, your feet can touch the floor, the chair doesn’t rock, and doesn’t have wheels, it’ll make the perfect yoga chair!
Who should do chair yoga? You can likely benefit from doing chair yoga if one or more of following apply:
- You have neurological challenges.
- You are obese or overweight.
- You are recovering from an injury.
- You have physical disabilities.
- You are an older adult who feels that traditional yoga is too demanding or strenuous.
Why should anyone participate in chair yoga? Where the practice of chair yoga is concerned, for easy completion from a chair, the movements of traditional yoga are adapted, but still offer the same benefits. You can participate in some type of chair yoga if you’re able to sit in a chair.
Chair Yoga Exercises
The following are examples of easy chair yoga exercises that you can try:
- Relaxation – Close your eyes and rest your hands in your lap while seated in the chair. Focus on clearing your mind, relaxing, and breathing while you take 10 deep, full breaths.
- Chair Warrior (one and two) – For number one, so you’re facing the back of the chair, straddle it. With your right foot remaining planted, and your bottom still on the chair, swivel to the right. On the other side of the chair, your left leg will be outstretched. For two breaths, slowly raise your arms up to the ceiling.
For number two, so that they are outstretched and parallel to the floor, bring your arms down slowly. Facing the back of the chair, adjust your upper body at the same time (to the left). To accommodate the adjustment, move your left hip back slightly. For two breaths, hold the position. Repeat all of this for the other side.
- Chair Pigeon – Sitting in your chair, up to your right thigh, raise your left ankle. To stretch the thigh muscles, rest the left foot Bend forward slightly, and hold, to add to the stretch. This can be done on each side, three times.
- Chair Forward Bend – As you sit in your chair, slowly inhale. Bend forward over the chair as you exhale and, if they will reach, try to place your hands on the floor. Allow your head to relax and hang down. As you slowly raise yourself up, inhale. This can be completed approximately five times.
How did it go for your first chair yoga session? Have you found your favorite chair yoga exercise? Let us know your thoughts!