Welcome to our Chair Yoga classes! Chair Yoga is a boon for those who lack the mobility to practice other forms of yoga due to old age or medical problems. It was developed by a lady called Erika Hammersrom in the 1980s. It makes yoga accessible to you even if you can’t sit on a mat or get up and down from the floor.
Understanding Chair Yoga
Yoga postures generally start from one of the three positions: sleeping, sitting or standing. Chair Yoga is a gentle version of yoga that can be practiced sitting on a chair or standing while using the chair for support. It’s in the process of being formally recognised as a type of yoga that will give it its own identity and distinguish it from other forms of yoga like Ashtanga Yoga or Iyengar Yoga. Most poses of Chair Yoga are adaptations of Hatha Yoga poses.
Who Should Do Chair Yoga?
Most people who practice Chair Yoga are unable to do regular yoga due to ageing or medical problems. Very often, people practice Chair Yoga after recommendation by their healthcare professional. That said, anyone can do Chair Yoga and benefit from it. It’s a great way of increasing body awareness and flexibility. Retirement facilities, adult day care centres and senior fitness centres sometimes offer it as part of their programs.
As most students have their own individual limitations, the teacher will first find out and understand the difficulties and may make adjustments to the individual programs as needed.
What You Will Learn
Unlike other forms of yoga, Chair Yoga is not meant to be a way of life. The main aim here is physical and mental well-being. It is a very gentle form of yoga and even people suffering from conditions like arthritis or having difficulty in sitting or getting up from the floor can do it with ease. There are no complicated movements. You will cover all types of movements, standing, sitting and prone with suitable adjustments, but they will be serving the same purposes as regular yoga postures. Chair Yoga is suitable for anyone, including pregnant women and the elderly.
Chair Yoga brings the benefits of yoga to people who can’t practice regular yoga. You don’t have to give up on yoga benefits just because you have some mobility problems. You also don’t need any prior yoga experience to practice or benefit from Chair Yoga.
Benefits Of Chair Yoga
1. Gives relief from symptoms of many medical conditions
Chair Yoga has helped people with depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, osteopenia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and vertigo.
2. Improves strength and flexibility
Chair yoga increases flexibility and strengthens the body. If you currently suffer from mobility problems, expect them to get better with Chair Yoga. You are less likely to get injured by minor mishaps and your recovery will be faster. Your mobility will also improve.
3. Gives greater body awareness and control
When you have physical difficulties, body awareness, balance and control of your movements are essential. Chair yoga will improve your abilities in these areas and will give you greater confidence besides reducing the risk of falls and other accidents.
4. Improves mental strength
Breathing work during chair yoga reduces the severity of problems like depression and anxiety. It also reduces stress and mood swings. It increases happiness and helps you manage stress and pain better.
5. Improves circulation.
6. Improves brain function.
7. Improves concentration.
8. Improves breathing.
9. Helps you shed excess weight.
10. Helps keep your spine supple.
Although Chair Yoga is safe, you must consult your healthcare specialist before you start practicing it. If you have any medical conditions, some postures and movements may be unsuitable for you. Once you get the all clear to attend the session, it’s still important to listen to your body. There is no point in pushing yourself too far, which could become counterproductive. When you practice with body and breath awareness, you will know when to stop and what type of postures and movements to avoid. Knowing what to do and when to stop will help you derive the maximum benefit.
The beautiful thing of yoga is “You are on a journey of the self, through the self, to the self” – Bhagavad Gita
“Remember the emphasis on the heart. The mind lives in doubt and the heart lives in trust. When you trust, suddenly you become centered.” ~ Osho