Safety And Comfort Is The Top Priority
The number one priority is to keep your older adult safe and comfortable.
None of these movements should hurt.
Make sure your older adult moves slowly and gently and pays attention to their body. Its better to do a little less rather than risk injury.
Older adults should follow the instructors movements only as far as is comfortable.
Even if they only do a fraction of the range of motion or have to skip some movements, theyll still benefit from the exercises.
Over time, their flexibility and strength will improve and theyll be able to do more and more.
What Is Chair Yoga And How Does It Differ From Traditional Yoga
Chair yoga is a form of stretching and toning that can be done in your living room. The practice requires no props or equipment other than the chair itself. With this, it resembles more closely to the Pilates exercises on a mat on the ground, but instead, you are using the chair for support as well as balance. It also helps to maintain posture and increase the feeling of relaxation.
Chair yoga differs from traditional yoga because it can be done anywhere and does not require any equipment or props. It is gentler on the body, as you are seated in a chair instead of standing up for an extended period of time.
Chair Yoga Poses For Home Practice
Chair yoga is a general term for practices that modify yoga poses so they can be done while seated in a chair. These modifications make yoga accessible to people who cannot stand, lack the mobility to move easily from standing to seated to supine positions, or want a quick break from office work.
Many of the basic body mechanics of the individual postures remain the same. While seated on chairs, students can do versions of twists, hip stretches, forward bends, and mild backbends.
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Why Should Seniors Do Yoga
Chair yoga for seniors is an accessible path to wellness. Chair yoga is an adaptive fitness and exercise program for those who cant try traditional methods of physical activity due to age or a limiting physical condition. Many seniors fit in one of these two categories.As seniors age and traditionally become more sedentary, they often find fewer and fewer ways to keep their bodies, minds, and spirits healthy and vital. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related fatalities for seniors, and they can cause many other serious and disability-causing injuries, such as head trauma and fractures. By improving strength and flexibility, chair yoga for seniors can help seniors avoid falls.Seniors with disabilities, weight challenges, inflexibility, or a lack of floor to standing mobility who cannot practice traditional yoga may benefit from frequent chair yoga for seniors, whether at home, at a class, or at the office. Even a wheelchair-bound senior can receive chair yogas benefits, such as mind-body-spirit integration that will keep them going strong.
Is Chair Yoga Considered Mindful Movement
YES! In the corporate wellness world, chair yoga is the perfect example of mindful movement brought to life.
We use very simple postures and stretches from the chair yoga playbook to introduce mindful movement to the workplace.
In comparison to mat yoga, it is much more accessible in an office setting and ensures no one is left out because their flexibility or disability.
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What Is Chair Yoga
Chair yoga is derived from traditional yoga, an ancient practice with poses that date back over 5,000 years. Many, if not all, traditional yoga poses can be replicated as sitting yoga poses or yoga stretches using a chair. This makes chair yoga both suitable and enjoyable for individuals at all levels of experience, including seniors.
Why Do Seated Poses
There is a role for seated poses in every yoga practice. If you find them uncomfortable, know that consistent practice brings improvements in flexibility over time. Use plenty of props along the way. Some people prefer more active postures because they feel like they are doing more. Slowing down with seated poses provides an important counterpoint, both mentally and physically. No yoga pose is ever static and each has a role in building a healthy, sustainable practice.
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Ideal For Long Flights Or Desk Jobs
For many individuals, a gym membership doesnt suffice for eight hours of sitting at a desk. Many people are trying to introduce levels of physical activity to their office or desk space. These include standing desks, stability balls, and taking quick walks around the office every 15-30 minutes. On top of these daily practices, why not try chair yoga? Along with supplying a ton of physical benefits, chair yoga can relieve workplace stress and tension, according to a study performed at the University of Pennsylvania. It revealed that the mindful practice of chair yoga helped elevate self-care and prevented burnout in the workplace.
In addition to practicing at the office, chair yoga exercises during a long flight can ease discomfort and alleviate the potential risk of blood clots. As stated by the American Society of Hematology for flights longer than eight hours, Blood clots can sometimes form in your legs during air travel because you are immobile for long periods of time. Stretches and movements such as chair yoga or walking around every couple of hours can help travelers reduce their risk of blood clots.
Who Does Chair Yoga
Chair yoga can be practiced by anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of yoga and may have mobility limitations. For example, chair yoga is great for anyone who needs more support, is managing an injury, or wants a more therapeutic approach to the practice.
Chair yoga classes are widely available in senior centers and retirement communities, as older adults are its biggest target audience. But people who are obese and people with neurological diseases are also good candidates for chair yoga. Office workers can also take advantage of chair yoga’s adaptations to do stretches at work.
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Chair Yoga For Seniors Beginner Friendly
A modified version of hatha yoga for individuals with health issues and the elderly, chair yoga has gained many new fans. Chair yoga refers to modifications of yoga postures to be done while sitting in a chair. These adaptations make yoga attainable for people who cannot stand, who lack the mobility to switch positions quickly from standing to sitting. Although the individual postures are pretty different, the primary body mechanics stay the same. Sitting on chairs, students can do twists, hip stretches, forward bends, and mild backbends.
Improves Balance & Flexibility
As life progresses, falling becomes more of a concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 3 million adults 65 and older are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries every year. Chair yoga helps improve balance and flexibility and reduces your chance of falling, providing you with self-confidence when completing everyday tasks.
There are many poses within the yoga practice. Below are a few poses that focus on improving balance and stability:
- Downward Dog: Improves balance by bending over and increases the range of motion in hips.
- Tree Pose: Increases balance by standing on one leg.
- Triangle: Promotes balance through your legs, hips and back. This pose also improves the range of motion in your back.
- Palm Tree: Improves balance by standing on your toes.
As always, its important to follow the advice and guidance from your chair yoga instructor. When first beginning chair yoga, its best to practice under instructor supervision to ensure you are performing each pose correctly and avoiding injury.
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Chair Yoga Poses To Boost Well
There are numerous yoga postures that can be done with a chair. Some are simply modified from their original shape. Others are drastically altered to still give you the same physical and mental benefits. In any case, here are five poses you can do today for greater well-being.
Before you get started:
- Refrain from eating for at least two hours before starting
- Wear comfortable clothing
- Place your chair on a sturdy surface. This could be on a yoga mat or on any other material that will keep your chair stationary while you move when seated on it.
Cat / Cow
Purpose: The goal of this pose is to move the spine through flexion and extension. The cat part of the pose rounds the spine into a forward fold. The cow is a gentle backbend that opens the heart and front of the shoulders.
Notes: Start seated in the chair, with both feet firmly on the ground and your spine tall. Place your hands just above your knees. Inhale to tilt the pelvis forward, arch the low back, and lift the heart toward the chin. On the exhale, reverse the movementsround the low back, create space between the shoulderblades, and tuck the chin toward the chest.
Length: Repeat 5 times.
Purpose: Lateral bends are a great pose to use in a chair yoga classes because they lengthen the sides of the body, create heat and mobility in the shoulders, and prepare the spine for twists.
Length: Repeat 5 times.
Length: Stay for 1 minute. Make sure you use the inhale to come up slowly.
Chair Yoga For Seniors: What Are The Amazing Benefits
Chair yoga for seniors is a popular option for people unable to balance while standing and those with limited mobility such as the wheelchair-bound. Chair yoga for seniors avoids having to get up and down off the floor, is gentle for arthritis, and is tolerated by those with high blood pressure.Importantly, a senior who has up until now led a sedentary lifestyle should discuss starting chair yoga with their doctor first. If they are not familiar with the process, describe chair yoga and what it would entail. Assuming that the doctor approves, the senior can get started.The next step after checking with the doctor is to look for classes at the local community or senior center, gym, yoga studio, parks and recreation department, or hospital. After confirming the location of the nearest chair yoga for seniors, the senior should be sure to bring their yoga mattheyll still need it on the floor. The senior should check first whether the teacher provides the chairs, and what the room temperature will be so they will know how to dress.
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Top 6 Yoga Stools + How To Choose The Best Headstand Bench For Practicing Inversions
When I first tried a yoga headstand, I was terrified. Would I fall and hurt my neck? Would my arms give out and Id break a bone? Would my upper back get messed up?
Headstands are an impressive addition to any yoga practice. The numerous mental and physical benefits of yoga inversions include everything from greater clarity to stress relief and back pain relief. But none of that is any use if you get hurt while trying to learn to do a yoga headstand.
Thankfully, someone invented the yoga stool just for this purpose: to help beginners like you and me enjoy the benefits of inversions without so much fear and risk.
We reviewed the top 6 yoga stools to figure out which are the best for different budgets, skill levels, and body ergonomics.
Benefits Of Exercise Ball Chair
To be fair, not everything is bad about using exercise ball chairs. In addition to its well-documented health benefits for exercise, we did find two case studies of patients whose back pain improved after consistent use of the yoga ball chair at the office.
While the medical community is inconclusive at best when it comes to the advantages, we found certain positives of using the exercise ball as an office chair after testing it ourselves. Based on our opinion, here are some of the benefits:
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Health Benefits Of Chair Yoga
There are many benefits of chair yoga, including reducing stress, pain, and fatigue. It can also help with joint lubrication, balance, and age-related issues such as menopause and arthritis. According to studies, yoga helps seniors lose weight. Other health benefits of chair yoga include:
- Getting more flexible
- Weight loss and healthier BMI range for seniors
Pose To Try: Forward Bend
The first pose you can tryespecially if the morning has been stressfulis a forward bend. According to Brown, this is a modification of the standing forward fold. Bend forward, hinging from your hips, and reach your hands towards the floor. “Your hands don’t have to go all the way to the floor,” Brown noted. “But, you do want your head to hang heavy. Your hands can stop wherever they want to stop. You can rest your hands on your shins. The most important thing here is that the neck is relaxed. “Brown adds that the forward bend is helpful for those of us who slouch, as it counterbalances the hunched position. It is also instrumental in managing anxious feelings and thoughts.
“This helps with anxiety,” says Brown. “When you’re experiencing anxiety, your heart is racing you’re having a hard time catching your breath. When you place your head between your knees, that helps to relax the system and helps you regulate your breathing.”
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The Benefits Of Office Chair Yoga
So, why should you practice chair yoga? Chair yoga provides the body and mind with many benefits. Here are the top benefits of chair yoga:
Great for Those Who Have Trouble Practicing Traditional Yoga
One of the main benefits of practicing chair yoga is that its a great alternative for those who struggle with traditional yoga. As we mentioned, the practice of chair yoga was originally developed with an arthritic yogi in mind.
But, this form of yoga isnt just great for those suffering from arthritis. It can also help sufferers of carpal tunnel, chronic pain, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis. It can also benefit those who are over a certain age and have trouble working through the up and down motions of traditional yoga.
Every Office Has Chairs & Chairs Save Space!
If youre trying to do yoga in a small area, you may not have the space to lay out a mat. This is why chair yoga can be so handy, as you only need a small amount of space to practice.
Chair yoga also allows participants to stay in their normal work clothes, avoiding the time needed to change and, perhaps even more importantly, avoiding seeing your boss in lulu lemons.
Additionally, chairs are very easy to come by. Most participants have their own chair they can roll in or companies may choose to use their onsite boardrooms or auditoriums.
Not at the office? You can do chair yoga during a flight, on a bench in the park, on a low concrete wall, or while sitting at your home and watching TV.
Who Benefits From Chair Yoga
Those of you with disabilities, weight challenges, inflexibility, or who just cannot get on the floor for whatever reason can benefit from a daily practice of yoga on a chair in the comfort of your home or office. The chair replaces the yoga mat and becomes an extension of your body allowing you to take full advantage of yogas amazing fitness and health potential. Even if you are in a wheelchair, you can receive the many benefits of chair yogathe integration of body, mind, and spirit that keeps the yoga practitioner at the top of their game.
The chart below delineates the many groups that are often not able to gain mat yogas advantages.
Who benefits from chair yoga?
What challenges does chair yoga address?
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The Seated Pigeon Chair Yoga Asana
Last but not the least, the seated pigeon pose helps in improving the posture of your body as well as in reducing pains associated with sitting for long periods in the same position. This is an easy chair yoga asana for seniors that can also help release tension in the lower back and hips. For this pose, you have to take the right ankle and place it on top of the left knee. Ensure you keep the right foot flexed to support the right knee. Take a deep breath and sit straight. As you exhale, slowly bend your upper body over your legs. Hold the position for 3-5 breaths and then, gradually release and come back to the upright position and place your feet on the floor. Repeat the same with the left foot as well.
YouTube Tutorial Link:
Other than this, Pranayama, specifically Anulom-Vilom, Reverse Arm Hold, seated Cat-Cow, and seated Side Angle, are some of the other chair yoga asanas for seniors that you can try. Overall, yoga is a very beneficial form of exercise that calms your mind and makes you happier. For elderly people, it is important that they lead a happy and healthy lifestyle that keeps them motivated and positive in their golden years. With these chair yoga exercises for seniors, you can reduce the number of issues that you are facing.
Benefits Of Chair Yoga For Those Who Are Recovering From Injuries
Since they dont need too much pressure being applied in order to hold themselves up against gravity like with traditional yoga mats, so theres no restriction in movement around an injured joint area.
It also allows people with disabilities such as chronic pain conditions, which may make sitting down difficult if not impossible due to discomfort or weakness many find this form of exercise easier than standing or kneeling on the floor.
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