By now, we all know what yoga entails. Lingering, hearty stretches, long-held positions, and deep breaths to build muscle, soothe our nervous system and assist blood blow. There are immense benefits of yoga, but, for some, twisting and turning your body can be an exhausting or aching challenge, especially as you age. Hence, chair yoga.
What is Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga is ideal for folks who have balance difficulties and limited mobility. It boasts all the perks and movements of yoga, with the added assistance (and comfort) of a chair.
Let it be known that among those with physical limitations, chair yoga can also be suitable in certain situations where you have minimal space or time, such as on flights, in waiting rooms or in office settings.
What are the Benefits of Chair Yoga?
Like classic yoga, chair yoga is known to increase one’s strength, balance, and flexibility. This is due to the slow movements that allow your body to stretch and hold certain poses, comfortably and gradually.
Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques practiced through yoga can strengthen the nervous system, thereby delivering balance in both the mind and body. As we all know, the two do work together.
Through the breathing that yoga welcomes, you feel calmer and more relaxed. Diaphragmic breathing helps to take us out of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), or the division that produces reflex adjustments (such as fight or flight responses) and moves us into our parasympathetic response, the division responsible for the body’s rest and digestion response when relaxed.
“Yoga can effectively reduce the body's stress response by decreasing the production of cortisol, which happens when the sympathetic nervous system is over-worked,” reports Organic Authority. “The practice effectively does this by increasing the coordination between our minds and our bodies through the physical postures, breathing techniques, and conscious relaxation methods that help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.”
Like any proper exercise, chair yoga can also reduce certain pains or physical symptoms of certain injuries; think of it as a form of physical rehabilitation/therapy. And, as you might have assumed, the practice of yoga can benefit your sleep patterns.
Examples of Chair Yoga Poses
The best way to learn chair yoga is to not read about the movements but to see and experience them. Take a look at the below diagram for a diverse range of chair yoga poses. Hold the poses for one to two breaths, or longer if you feel so inclined (deeply breathing in through your nose and out, at a pace that is comfortable and relaxing to you.)
Remember, there is no rushing in yoga. The key is to listen to your body and its needs. If a pose does not feel right to you, simply skip it or use a modification that benefits you.
At Moorings Park Communities, weekly chair yoga classes are available to members inside The Center for Healthy Living®, offering guided lessons to get the most out of these unique stretches.
To learn more about our integrated wellness programs, personalized healthcare, and luxury residences, please visit MooringsPark.org.