What are the benefits of chair yoga?

Do you think yoga is only for the super flexible Stretch Armstrongs and Elasta Girls of this world? Well think again! Chair yoga can be an accessible access point into the practice for people with limited mobility and for those that are still building strengthen. Chair yoga boasts all the same benefits of a traditional yoga class such as:


· Helps build muscle strengthen, endurance and support joint mobility

· Increases flexibility and deepens range of motion

· Soothes sore muscles, reduces pain and muscle tension

· Improves motor skills, boosts body awareness and builds balance

· Relieves stress and relaxes the mind


If you’ve never tried a chair yoga class, expect an experienced instructor to guide you through gentle movements that are derived directly from mat yoga. Practicing poses in a chair takes weight off joints and makes the poses adaptable to a wider range of body types and ability levels. Most chair yoga poses are taught sitting down but some may also be standing and using the chair for support. The final pose of chair yoga sequence is often a seated savasana in which participants can sink into a state of contemplation and calmness. Studies show a session as short as fifteen minutes can active the body’s bult in relaxation response.


Still unsure if chair yoga is right for you? Well, it never hurts to try! There’s little to no physical risk of practicing yoga in chair, and the worst-case scenario is that you’ll feel more peaceful after class. Chair yoga classes are especially beneficial to those struggling with balance or have difficulty getting on and off the floor. If those don’t apply to you, chair yoga is also excellent for:


· Budding Beginners

· Elder seniors

· Wheelchair bound people

· Injury, illness and surgery recovery

· Sedentary folks

· Desk job workers

· Frequent flyers

· Road warriors


Consider a chair yoga class to revive your mat practice or to begin your journey into mindful meditative movement. Yoga truly can be for “every body.” Keeping a consistent practice is key to unlocking all of the physical and mental health benefits that can be experienced in a chair yoga class and help to improve overall quality life and well-being.



SOURCES:

· Brower, Elena, 2016, These 16 Chair Yoga Poses Are Perfect for the Office, Yoga Journal

· Melville, Geoffrey W., et al. 2012, Fifteen Minutes of Chair-Based Yoga Postures or Guided Meditation Performed in the Office Can Elicit a Relaxation Response, National Library of Medicine

· Stelter, Gretchen, 2020, 7 Yoga Poses You Can Do in a Chair, Healthline

· Steinberg, Linda, 2015, 6 Yoga Exercises You Won’t Be Embarrassed to Do at Your Desk, Harvard Business Review

· Harvard Health Publishing, 2021, Yoga benefits beyond the mat,

@2022 Jewell Singleterry. All rights reserved.https://www.health.harvard.edu


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