Chair Yoga: It’s Not Just for Seniors
6 Overall Benefits of Chair Yoga
By: “AJ” Amy Jo Crowell, Publisher Dallas Yoga Magazine, Co-Founder Cosmic Yogi Movement & Festivals
When most of us hear “Chair Yoga” we immediately think of a class filled with long timers. That may be the perception of most, but it’s not reality. Chair yoga is a great option for anyone first experiencing yoga. It gets them more comfortable with yoga postures, stretches and subsides their fear of doing balancing poses. It’s one of the safest ways to learn yoga for all ages and especially for someone who may have some sort of physical disability. Let’s face facts, most people in yoga can’t do the poses you see on the cover of magazines.
I first experienced Chair Yoga with my yoga and meditation mentor, Suzanne Schultz. I had practiced yoga for years but had never ventured into a Chair Yoga class. Suzanne offered small private sessions and I jumped at the opportunity to attend. I quickly learned Chair Yoga was extremely beneficial to my practice. I was able to do a posture and stretch further than I normally would have been able to without the chair. (I had to be careful not to over-stretch.) It was easier to hold the postures longer with the chair which in turn helped strengthen my muscles. After a few of Suzanne’s Chair Yoga classes, I found my flexibility and strength had improved significantly. I admit it…I was as surprised! It was well worth the time and I highly recommend adding a “Chair Yoga” class into your routines.
Chair Yoga is also the perfect practice to assist in recovering from an illness, after surgery, broken bones, chronic pain or anything that may be causing a person restricted movement. Even those recovering from a variety of cancers or are in chemotherapy will find a refreshing healing benefit from Chair Yoga.
Nowadays, most are sitting in front of their computer for hours during the day. Even if we don’t have a desk job, there are emails to be answered, social media posts and surfing the web. According to L’Atelier the average American spends 8.5 hours a day in front of a screen. That includes our phones, televisions and computers. While we are staring at our screens, we are usually immobile and not moving our bodies sufficiently. Often, we are in work environments, class rooms or places where we are unable to get up and move around. This is when Chair Yoga comes in handy. Learning Chair Yoga postures will keep your body active, help alleviate back pain from long hours of sitting on your spine, assists in reducing neck pain/tension from using your keyboard endlessly, helps relieve joint pain and will keep your joints moving.
Let’s talk more about the overall benefits of practicing Chair Yoga:
- Makes You Stronger: It is to everyone’s benefit to gain strength throughout our bodies. The stronger we are the more we can trust our physical body to do the activities we desire.
- Become More Flexible: My own personal experience has shown Chair Yoga helps flexibility. The more flexible we are the less chance of becoming injured and the more we can do physically. The more I personally can do physically the better I feel.
- Relieves Stress & Tension: According to Gallup News 8 out of 10 Americans say they are afflicted by stress while 44% say they frequently feel stressed. We have become a nation where we allow stress to rule our lives. You can relieve stress where ever you are whether it be work, on an airplane or at home with Chair Yoga poses. Simple stretches can bring more serenity to yourself, relax your mind and body and while you reset for the rest of your day.
- Brings More Energy: Even the most simple, easy movements can increase blood flow and get your body pumped. When you are running low on energy, don’t grab that sugar filled candy bar that will only make you crash later, start your Chair Yoga practice. The more energy that comes into your body the happier and more positive you start feeling.
- Learn to Breath More: Moving is a great option to get your energy flowing but in conjunction with deep breaths or rapid inhales and exhales, you will be flabbergasted at how revived and energized you will feel. During your Chair Yoga, take a few moments to breathe…just focus on your breath. Take the time to get in tune with you…just you and your breath. It’s a mini-battery charger you can utilize anytime.
- Better Sleep: Any kind of exercise during the day will help you sleep better at night, but when you add Chair yoga and breath work into your daily routine the stress and tensions will be reduced, your mind will become more relaxed and you will have a much improved night’s sleep.
Many of the Yoga Centers in the DFW area practice Chair Yoga. Go to Dallas Yoga Magazine’s listing of centers in your area by clicking here. You can also search the Internet to find easily accessible Chair Yoga poses and classes. Of course, learning by a certified teacher is a definite plus, but if you want to get a few easy postures, before you find one to attend in person, you can always find them online.