Did you know that if you use a wheelchair or have other mobility issues, you can still participate in many physical activities? You can. One of these activities is chair yoga.
As the name says, chair yoga is practicing yoga while seated in a chair. Chair yoga’s poses may be poses used in non-chair yoga, modified versions of other yoga practices, or new moves entirely.
Who Can Participate in Chair Yoga?
Practically anyone. Since chair yoga features poses people can perform while seated, it’s an especially good option for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, and other devices, or for people who tire easily. People who have heart conditions or arthritis that make more strenuous forms of exercise riskier or more painful may benefit from chair yoga.
Residents at senior citizens home perform chair yoga, as do people in rehabilitation centers. Chair yoga poses may also be good for people who are seated for long stretches of time because of desk jobs. In short, many people are able to practice chair yoga.
What Does Chair Yoga Look Like?
Poses in chair yoga often resemble poses in other types of yoga. Chair yoga poses often include a great deal of stretching and emphasize proper posture.
Since a picture is often worth 1,000 words, you may want to go online to study poses used in chair yoga. Sites such as Healthline feature stories, photos, and videos that demonstrate proper form (so you don’t get hurt) and offer clear explanations.
Another site, Fitness, provides instructions and a video to explain one chair yoga pose:
- Sit on the front edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- With your hands behind you, grip the seat of the chair and point some of your fingers away from you.
- Inhale and lift your chest.
- Exhale and release your grip from the chair.
- Repeat the process five times.
Why Should I Consider Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga is good for your physical health because it stretches you and invigorates you physically. It may also restore you mentally.
A number of professionals use yoga to address mental health. People often practice yoga with meditation, another practice that may benefit our minds.
Yoga and meditation require people to focus on their poses, their breathing, and on what’s happening in the present. This focus distracts us from constantly reviewing past actions or worrying about uncertain futures. That’s why an increasing number of drug rehab facilities are incorporating yoga and meditation to help their clients achieve positive states of mind. That’s why more and more professional sports teams are using it to help players focus before big games.
When Should I Practice Chair Yoga?
Now! Seriously, though, one of the benefits of chair yoga that you can practice it almost anywhere for free. It does not require bulky exercise equipment or specialized workout clothes or shoes, so beginners may find it inexpensive and easy to get started.
It’s also easy to fit into your day. If you have a few extra minutes, you can do a few poses. If you have a little more time, you can practice your poses and breathing exercises a little longer. Chair yoga is an exercise that promotes flexibility, but it also provides a flexible way of improving your physical and mental health.
Guest blogger: Nicole Allen is a freelance educator and writer based in Michigan and believes that her writing is an extension of her career as a tutor since they both encourage learning and discussing new things. When she isn’t writing, you’ll might find Nicole running, hiking, or swimming. She’s participated in several 10K races and hopes to compete in a marathon one day.