If you think you’re too old or inflexible for yoga, think again! You actually don’t have to touch your toes or get down on the floor and turn into a bendy straw to benefit from chair yoga. However, you still get to take advantage of the many benefits that this practice can bring to your life! Keep reading to learn more about doing yoga while sitting in a chair and how it can improve your mental and physical well-being.
This is a specific form of yoga developed by Lakshmi Voelker-Binder in 1982. It’s practiced sitting on a chair or using a chair for support. Poses are often adaptations of asanas in modern yoga as exercise.
This type of yoga has been evaluated for possible medical benefits like osteoarthritis. Researchers have also found small to moderate benefits for older people, including maintaining good balance, reducing symptoms of depression, and improving lower limb strength and vitality.
This type of yoga is both a safe and effective exercise for many that are unable to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle. Here are six benefits you will gain by doing it:
We already know that strength leads to better balance, which reduces our risk of falls. Sitting in a chair to do yoga helps retain and even improve strength. In fact, it’s even been an effective alternative treatment for osteoarthritis!
Many people assume that loss of flexibility and increasing age go hand-in-hand, however, the rule is “use it or lose it”. By gently challenging your body, you can actually improve your mobility and increase your flexibility!
Proprioception describes the ability to accurately sense where your body is in space. So, how does that translate to yoga done on a chair? When we do yoga, we shift our bodies smoothly from one pose to another. By practicing these shifts, we’re improving our coordination. As a result, our risk of falling decreases because our proprioception is improved.
Because mindfulness is an inherent part of yoga, you’re also promoting relaxation, reduced stress, and other positive mental effects. And like other forms of exercise, chair yoga may also help improve mood and offer relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression.
There’s countless research out there that proves exercise can reduce some forms of pain. And it allows you to capitalize on your body’s natural painkillers: endorphins!
Keeping a regular exercise routine often brings better sleep — even if it’s yoga done in a chair! Simple stretching and yoga relaxation exercises work to enhance mental and physical relaxation, which will improve the quality of your sleep. The stress and pain-reducing benefits listed above will also ensure fewer disruptions.
Watch the short video below to learn how to safely go through a quick sequence that incorporates six different poses. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more yoga fitness videos.