Struggling with mobility and/or strength doesn’t mean you can’t stay in shape. Chair yoga is the perfect workout for seniors who want to stay active and limber in their golden years. Chair yoga is a 30-minute workout that is safe, easy, and effective. It helps improve flexibility by stretching and lengthening weakened and neglected muscles. Chair yoga is also great for calming the body’s natural nervous system and for promoting deeper breathing.
Getting Started: The Basics
The primary focus of chair yoga is to be comfortable and safe. That means having a chair that’s stable and supportive. You don’t need fancy equipment – it can be an old kitchen chair or an office chair. You don’t even have to leave the house – use a chair from your living room or an armchair from upstairs. There are a few other items to consider. Comfy slippers or grippy socks keep your feet planted on the ground. A yoga mat is great for cushioning your feet, and a folded towel at the back of the chair can get it to the right height. Water and tissues are also great to have nearby.
Chair yoga is not limited to just sitting in a chair. There are plenty of great exercises that use the chair for balance and stability. Many of the poses concentrate on core strength and focus on beginners’ poses like slow-moving sun salutations and gentle standing poses. Some focus on seated positions that help release tension and open tight muscles near the hip, neck, and shoulders. It usually ends with a relaxation sequence where you focus on releasing any physical or mental stress and coming back to the present moment.
Enjoy the Benefits
Chair yoga can help you create a yoga practice that works for you, no matter what condition your body is in. With consistent practice that is tailored to your body and abilities, chair yoga can help relieve joint and muscle stiffness and also catch and prevent imbalance. It also provides great relief to people who are dealing with chronic pain or other medical conditions. Don’t let your age or physical limitations keep you from reaping the benefits of yoga.