It is a popular saying, ‘Yoga is for everybody.’ But there are apprehensions and questions. Is it really true? Well, it is. And, those with flexibility, injury and age can practice yoga from a chair.
Yes, chair yoga is a form of practice that can be done by seniors or individuals having mobility issues. Chair yoga for seniors involves the performance of yoga poses combined with breathing that is done in a seated manner. Chair Yoga makes the science accessible to the seniors, hence, giving life to the above-said statement.
With gentle chair yoga for seniors, the elderly people can perform twists, forward bends, mild backbends and more. In addition to the advantage of getting a chance to practice yoga and a good stretch, chair yoga exercises for seniors confer the following benefits:
Strength Enhancement: The movement of the body in chair yoga sequences for seniors results in the strength of the muscles. With greater strength, you can perform the daily tasks better and independently for many more years to come. If ever you suffer an injury or fall, a strong body withstands and sustains fewer injuries.
Amplified Flexibility: The chair yoga poses give your muscles a stretch that helps increase their flexibility. Flexibility assists movements like bending, lifting, etc.
A Sense of Proprioception: Proprioception is a sense of knowing where your body is in space and coordinating the movements accordingly. It is essential for elderly people so as to prevent falls. Chair yoga practices assist in developing proprioception and awareness.
Improved Mental Health: Senior citizens are prone to develop mental health problems like stress, depression and more due to a feeling of isolation, lack of love, care, support, physical health issues and so much more. Commitment to chair yoga poses with breathing reduces stress and increases pain management. The practices invite relaxation and feeling of wellness.
An Opportunity to Socialize: Joining chair yoga class is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet and greet friends. A chance to practice chair yoga in the company of like-minded individuals build interest and dedication in the practice.
Five Chair Yoga Poses for Seniors With Rewards:
Mountain Pose (Tadasana):
It is a simple yoga posture that can be done in a seated position as well. This posture engages the core and improves body alignment
- Sit on a chair with an elongated spine
- Keep the knees and feet slightly apart from each other
- Roll the shoulders back and pull the belly button toward your spine
- Inhale, raise the arms up and upon exhalation bring them down.
- Repeat this movement 4-5 times with the breath.
Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana):
The seated forward fold pose gives the entire back a nice stretch and calms the nervous system.
- Be seated in the mountain pose with your arms down.
- Inhale, extend your spine and hoist the arms up
- Exhale, bend forward over your legs
- You can keep the arms at your side or lower them to the ground.
- Take 5 breaths in the pose.
Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana):
This twisting chair yoga for senior helps with lower back pain, digestion and blood circulation.
- Comfortably sit on a chair.
- Keep the spine straight and arms by your side, palms on the knees.
- As you inhale, extend the arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor.
- When you breathe out, twist your upper body to the right side.
- Rest your left hand at your side and right hand on top of the chair back.
- Look over your right shoulder.
- Keep the twist gentle and do not try to deepen it.
- Hold the pose for 15-20 seconds.
Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana):
The pose provides a stretch to the lower body region, stimulates abdominal organs and relieves fatigue.
- For the Janu Sirsasana, sit on the edge of a chair
- Sit tall and stretch your one leg out with heel on the ground.
- Flex the toes and keep both the hands on the stretched leg.
- Upon exhalation, bend down and slide your arms down the leg as you bend
- Take the stretch as long as you’re comfortable
- Try to rest the head on the knee.
- As you go down with your hands, consider grasping the ankle or calf.
- Practice rhythmic breathing in this yoga posture.
- Repeat the steps with the other leg as well.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana):
The eagle arms relax the shoulders and upper back.
- Sit upright on a chair
- Inhale, extend the arms in front.
- Exhale, drop the right arm under the left and press the palms together
- Cross the right leg over the left one.
- Gaze in a forward direction.
- Hold the posture for 20-25 seconds.
Chair yoga is an effectual way for the seniors to improve their well-being and to delve in the practice of yoga science.