Chogaflow began as a thought while chatting with relatives in the backyard on a beautiful spring day eight years ago. They were conversing about their achy knee joints, immobile hips, and overall limited flexibility. While listening attentively to their concerns about the future of their health, I asked myself, “How can I take my yoga flow practice and adapt it toward the needs of our gracefully aging society?” In that moment, Chogaflow, (chair-yoga-flow) a unique chair yoga workout, was born.
With the Chogaflow yoga workout, we receive the many benefits of a traditional yoga practice without ever having our knees touch the floor. Using a chair to support our body allows us to maintain stability in our yoga stance while exploring deeper into the pose. It is a safe way to align the body and challenge our self with ease. Proper alignment of the bone and muscle is important not only in yoga, but also in life. It helps to strengthen and alleviate strain in the joints and allows the body to function at its optimum. As we move through our yoga practice, range of motion improves in the hips and shoulders, the larger joints, which helps to relieve pain and stiffness in the smaller joints. Practicing the poses, we stretch and strengthen the core muscles, which help to protect and support the spine and low back. The chair is a fantastic prop offering a sense of security, which enables us to let go of any fear, judgment, or apprehension that may arise while practicing the routine; instead we can focus on the breath and movement.
One of the greatest gifts that yoga gives us is learning how to link the breath with movement. As we move and breathe with awareness, our mind softly settles, the body flows with ease and our yoga practice becomes a beautiful meditation in motion. As our body begins to unfold and unwind we let go of the tension and stress. We begin to feel lighter as physical, mental, and emotional toxins are released. Ultimately, we liberate our self from the ties that bind us. Positive thoughts replace our negative ones, any sorrow becomes joy, and self-doubt turns into radiant confidence. This freedom carries over into our daily activities and we start to live a life filled with joy, kindness, compassion, and ease.
The hunched posture that we all are subjected to on a daily basis, as we slouch over our computers, phones, and shopping carts, is the cause of many health issues. Not only are we holding onto stress and tension in our shoulders and neck, but also our front body is collapsed. How do we achieve optimal health when we can’t even take a full inhale because our lungs have no space to expand? Yoga makes us very aware of our muscular asymmetries. Through stretching and strengthening the muscles that support our spine and body we can begin to realign ourselves and improve our habitual misalignments and patterns of movement. As we start to develop more symmetry, our body becomes stronger and our posture improves; circulation increases, and the nervous system and immune system are strengthened. Through a regular yoga workout, we begin to walk taller, breathe better, and feel better.
Approach your yoga workout with kindness. Give yourself the same encouragement that you would offer a dear friend. Honor your limitations and be accepting of where you are today with your ability; this is where you are supposed to be. Be courageous enough to explore your individual edge, but also courageous enough to know when to recede. Be accepting of who you are. Why would you want to be anyone else when you can be unique, beautiful you?
Everyone starts somewhere so why not start here? Keep an open mind, go with the flow, and set your spirit free.
I recommend using a sturdy metal office chair for stability and I just discovered a great new mat, Barefoot Yoga’s Grip Mat. It has really great traction and a lifetime warranty.
“Don’t be afraid to shine your light. When you do so, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same”. ~Marianne Williamson
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