Chair yoga is a general term for practices that modify yoga poses to do while seated. This modification makes yoga more accessible to people who cannot stand, don’t have the mobility to move from standing to sitting or want a quick fix.
Is Chair Yoga Good for Seniors?
Regularly exercising is one of the best ways for seniors to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Chair yoga is easier on your joints than high-impact exercises like running or plyometrics.
It’s perfect for seniors who want to participate in an exercise program but have trouble with balance.
Seniors who cannot do traditional yoga poses can still do chair yoga and get the benefits of a yoga session.
Chair yoga has the following benefits for Seniors:
- Stress reduction
- Low impact on joints
- Improves circulation
- Improves balance
- Improves pain management
- Combats depression and anxiety
- Promotes independence and wellbeing
What Do You Need for Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga is a low-risk and low-impact form of exercise, but you should still make sure you have the right equipment to prevent injuries and get the most out of your workout.
Some essential chair yoga equipment includes:
- A flat, level surface for your chair
- An armless, stable chair (no wobbling!)
- Space to fully extend your limbs
- Flexible, comfortable clothing that isn’t too tight or baggy
- An experienced instructor or friend for safety
Chair Yoga Poses for Seniors
Ujjayi breathing is an essential exercise for warming up your body and calming your mind. The practise involves breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
The ujjayi breathing adds rhythm and focus that helps quiet the mind on a more fundamental level.
Seated Raised Hands Pose
Focusing on the upper part of the body, this pose removes stress from the neck and shoulders. By placing your hands up in the air, you can improve your blood circulation and oxygen intake.
Isometric contractions strengthen the stomach, chest, and pectoral muscles. Sitting upright with a straight spine is beneficial due to good posture and alignment.
The bent-leg pigeon pose is a resting pose that can be done while sitting down. It is beneficial to the legs because it helps to release the tension in the hips, pelvis, and hamstrings.
As a result, it increases your hip flexibility and reduces lower back pain. This pose also helps improve your posture and body alignment.
Seated Forward Bend
Chair yoga poses are an excellent way for seniors to promote flexibility while seated.
The seated forward bend pose can help people relax their neck, back, and shoulders. It is also great for relieving tension in the hips, arms, torso, and spine.
Seated Wide Leg Forward Bend
Practising a wide-legged forward bend pose is excellent for getting rid of tension in the hips, hamstrings, and thighs.
This exercise helps to strengthen your upper body and stretch out your legs at the same time. This pose reduces fatigue and maintains posture. It also improves digestion.
The chair warrior squat exercise can be done while seated. It is beneficial for the spine, triceps, and deltoids. This exercise is helpful in the knees, as well.
This pose also enhances posture. It also helps relieve stress and thereby calms the mind.
The eagle arms pose is an exercise that is great for the shoulders, neck, and back. It is beneficial for the thyroid and adrenal glands. In addition, it helps to improve circulation.
This exercise strengthens your thighs and legs, improves posture, and reduces stress in the body. This pose also helps to increase flexibility in the hamstrings and calves and enhance core strength and balance in the spine.
Chair Twist to Side
Twisting poses are great for strengthening your core muscles and stretching out the spine. The chair twist to the side pose reaches all the muscles in your body, including the legs, abdomen, torso, and arms.
It is an excellent pose as it stretches the muscles in your hips, spine, abdomen, and shoulders. This pose helps relieve stress.
It offers more flexibility in the spine. It also stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs.
Chair yoga is an excellent alternative to traditional practice. It is very accessible and may be enjoyable for seniors for long-term use.
Chair yoga has many added benefits for seniors, including low-impact, low-risk, and many health benefits.
As chair yoga becomes more popular, there are many classes available for seniors in the community to help empower them to live healthier lives.
You can find classes offered at your local health centre, hospital, or community centre in your area.
Chair yoga is safe and effective, but it’s essential to get the proper instruction and learn each pose before trying it out in an intense class.
If you are new to chair yoga or concerned about your readiness for exercise, please consult with a physician or chair yoga expert before jumping right in.