Chair Yoga For Strength, Balance and More

Chair yoga

Post date: 10/17/2019

Do you often feel tense? Has it become difficult to bend down and tie your shoes due to stiff joints? Are you often worried about falling? If so, chair yoga is the ideal exercise to add to your daily routine. The stabilized motions of chair yoga are known to alleviate some of the most common aches and pains, while improving strength and mobility.

Once you begin practicing chair yoga, you’ll start to feel a sense of ease and relaxation flow through your body. Over time, you’ll notice the tension that once overtook your muscles and joints begins to release, and basic skills, such as bending over to tie your shoes, are once again possible.

Chair yoga can be practiced by anyone struggling with balance, strength and flexibility. Adding a chair into your practice provides extra support, so you can complete basic stretches and enhance your overall quality of life.

About chair yoga

Chair yoga is derived from traditional yoga, an ancient practice with poses that date back over 5,000 years. Many, if not all, traditional yoga poses can be replicated and altered to accommodate a chair, making it possible, enjoyable and suitable for all levels of experience.

This simple, yet effective, modification of incorporating a chair provides extra security and stability while transitioning through poses. Chair yoga allows you to make gradual improvements to your strength, balance and flexibility, and reduces the risk of losing your balance which is more common when practicing traditional yoga. Put your mind to rest knowing that if you struggle with balance and strength, you’ll always have the chair to hold on to.

When you feel confident enough, you can begin to remove the chair from certain poses and flow through movements on your own. It’s important to take your time, listen to your body and always take advice from the chair yoga instructor.

In addition to feeling more secure and stable, chair yoga is great for those who travel long distances or sit at a desk all day because it increases blood circulation throughout the body.

What are the benefits of chair yoga?

In addition to improving your quality of life, chair yoga has many benefits such as decreasing stress, blood pressure, anxiety, inflammation and chronic pain. The goal of chair yoga is allowing you to feel strong and confident in your ability to complete everyday tasks without the worry of falling.

Increases strength

As we age, our body tends to lose muscle mass. Less muscle mass means less strength and mobility and higher risk of injury. Whether you’re looking to maintain your strength or need to regain muscle mass, chair yoga is a great option for you.

There are various poses and flows targeted to build muscle and tone the body, strengthening areas such as your arms, legs, core and back. As your strength increases so will your overall mobility, leaving you more confident in your ability to complete daily tasks and remain active.

Below are just a few chair yoga poses that are known to build strength:

  • Chair Warrior I: Builds strength in your legs, core, back and arms by lunging forward, lifting your arms to the ceiling and holding your core tight.
  • Chair Warrior II: Builds strength in your legs, arms and core by lunging forward, lifting your arms to shoulder height and then rotating them.
  • Chair Reverse Warrior: Builds strength in your legs and core while stretching your back by lunging forward, extending one arm up towards the ceiling and slightly extending it back behind you.

As always, it’s important to follow the advice and guidance from your chair yoga instructor. When first beginning chair yoga, it’s best to practice under instructor supervision to ensure you are performing each pose correctly and avoiding injury.

Improves balance & flexibility

As life progresses, falling becomes more of a concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 million adults 65 and older are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries every year. Chair yoga helps improve balance and flexibility and reduces your chance of falling, providing you with self-confidence when completing everyday tasks.

There are many poses within the yoga practice. Below are a few poses that focus on improving balance and stability:

  • Downward Dog: Improves balance by bending over and increases the range of motion in hips.
  • Tree Pose: Increases balance by standing on one leg.
  • Triangle: Promotes balance through your legs, hips and back. This pose also improves the range of motion in your back.
  • Palm Tree: Improves balance by standing on your toes.

As always, it’s important to follow the advice and guidance from your chair yoga instructor. When first beginning chair yoga, it’s best to practice under instructor supervision to ensure you are performing each pose correctly and avoiding injury.

Helps with sleep, stress and more

Aside from the physical benefits of helping your body gain strength, balance and flexibility, practicing chair yoga is great for your mental health as well. Holistic exercises, like chair yoga, have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing and can affect areas of your life that you may not have anticipated. For example, when practicing chair yoga, you’re also practicing meditation and deep breathing. These mindful exercises have been known to create a more positive outlook on life, which in turn reduces stress and headaches and improves sleep – creating a mind-body experience.

Attend a chair yoga class

At Sun Health Wellness, we strive to better the lives of community members through various wellness programs and classes. To learn more about our Chair Yoga classes, visit our website or connect with one of our highly qualified Wellness Advocates to create a wellness plan best suited for you.