Chair yoga refers to yoga postures that are done while sitting in a chair. These adaptations are great for people who cannot stand or lack the mobility to switch positions quickly. Although the individual postures are different, the main body mechanics are the same. People can still do twists, forward bends, hip stretches, and mild backbends. Anyone who likes chair yoga will benefit from knowing more. When you are doing chair yoga, you want to use a chair that is secure and comfortable while doing these practices. Read on to learn more about the basic chair yoga poses for older adults!
Seated Mountain (Tadasana)
The Seated Tadasana will relax your mind and body. It is a calming pose that improves your awareness of breath, which makes it ideal for meditation.
- Sit up straight, extend your spine and take a deep breath.
- Exhale and relax into the chair.
- Your legs should remain at 90-degree angles. Leave some room between your knees.
- Continue breathing and exhaling deeply. Roll your shoulders down, pull your belly in towards the spine and relax your elbows.
- Lift your toes and press into the four corners of your feet.
Stretches will help to relieve muscle tension and help in recovery from injuries. The triceps stretch increases mobility and enhances flexibility.
- Hole your hands together above your head as you breathe while sitting in the chair.
- Lower your arms slowly with your palms together as you exhale.
- Inhale and raise both arms and exhale to move them together in front of your heart.
- Move your arms up and down and consider what you are experiencing.
Simple Seated Twist
Twisting poses help to reduce lower back pain while promoting circulatory health and digestion. These are known as “detox poses”.
- As you inhale, extend your spine and raise your arms up and outwards.
- As you exhale, twist your upper body gently to the right.
- Look over your shoulder. Use your grip to maintain the twist but make sure to not strain yourself.
- Return to the front after a few breaths.
- Repeat the same twist but this time on your left side.
Reverse Arm Hold
Reverse arm hold aims in the opening of your chest and stretching of your shoulders. It is great for posture, breathing difficulties, and stress.
- As you inhale, spread your hands apart with palms down.
- As you exhale, roll both shoulders forward slightly, bend your arms, and swing them behind your back.
- Hold your hands and pull your hands apart gently.
- Hold for five breaths before releasing your hands.
Health Benefits of Chair Yoga
For older adults, engaging in chair yoga is a good way to stretch muscles, improve circulation, and reduce stress and fatigue. Chair yoga is also good for managing chronic pain, health issues like depression, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and autoimmune conditions, and age-related issues like arthritis and menopause. Other health benefits of chair yoga include:
- Improved muscle strength
- More flexibility
- Improved breathing habits
- Better sleep
- Better sense of well-being