The only thing most people need to practice yoga is a yoga mat – and some comfortable clothes. But for others who are learning yoga with limited mobility or strength, a simple folding or kitchen chair is one addition that not only makes it possible for them to do yoga but also lets them ease into it. See why chair yoga might be the perfect option for your seniors below.
Pull up a seat because, with just a chair, you can begin your yoga experience
Yoga is all about stretching, moving and getting or keeping calm and healthy. It is especially attractive to many seniors as it does not require special equipment and can be conducted at a gentle, easy pace. For those with mobility or balance issues, the addition of a simple chair not only makes yoga possible but it also makes it easy.
Off the mat and into the chair
Most people do yoga on a mat on the floor. Some of us, however, might have trouble getting down to the floor or getting up from it. For others, standing up or moving about can also be difficult thanks to sore joints and physical imbalances. The addition of a simple chair to your practice removes those obstacles by providing a stable, comfortable starting point. Almost any exercise that can be done stretched out on the floor, standing, kneeling or squatting can be done in a chair with minimal modification. After a while, many people who start out with a chair are able to do some exercises and positions on the floor or on their feet, but your group can also get a huge benefit from the increased pliability, muscle growth and relaxation that comes with chair yoga.
What yoga exercises can be done sitting in a chair?
One of our favorite aspects of chair yoga is that almost every yoga position can be done sitting or with the use of a chair. From sun salutation variables to even warrior poses, you have a huge array of yoga poses at your disposal for all levels. Arm and leg raises, twists, neck and shoulder exercises and many positions that are meant to help with hip and other joint mobility can be done either sitting in a chair – or standing up and resting your hands on the back of the chair. Yogis On The Go’s instructors can help guide a student on how to use a chair to help them get the most out of the practice.
As yoga instructors know, it’s about modifying (and “No” is a complete sentence)
Anyone doing yoga should understand that “modify, modify, modify” is the key to safe and effective yoga. Group yoga practitioners can always ask for help or advice, but should also understand that in the yoga world “No” is a complete sentence. So is “may I have a chair?” After all, we’re here to grow, and we have to do that from a healthy, fulfilling place. And chair yoga is a great place because it helps us become physically and mentally stronger one session at a time.
If you’re interested in having Yogis On The Go lead a group session at your senior center, we offer a wide spectrum of yoga classes to accommodate all levels of practice.