Kent Probst, BS, MEd
Kent Probst is the owner of Long Healthy Life Blog
Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors
Pretty much everyone looks forward to working less or having more free time. You want to be able to do the things you enjoy.
Other things creep up and get in the way – like symptoms of aging. Your balance is not what it once was. Maybe you’re not as flexible as you used to be.
You’re noticing more aches and pains.
Research shows that chair yoga for seniors with arthritis has the following benefits: Improved walking speed, less pain and fatigue.
Other studies have demonstrated that chair yoga for seniors resulted in improved balance, gait speed and grip strength.
You like the idea of yoga, but you’re looking for an alternative that’s a little less difficult and more accessible.
Chair yoga for seniors may be the answer.
How to Get Started
Before you start, it’s a good idea to consult your physician, especially if you have other health conditions with which you’re dealing.
Only do what you’re comfortable with, and avoid pain during any pose.
The movements should be done gently and slowly, and follow the advice of the instructor.
Once you’re ready to get started, you have the option of doing chair yoga at home or in a group setting.
A great advantage of doing chair yoga in a group setting is that you get to socialize and possibly make new friends.
The following tutorials will guide you through seven different yoga poses using a chair.
Chair Yoga for Seniors: The 7 Poses
1. Seated Eagle Pose
Sit upright in the chair with your back not resting on the backrest. Place your hands on your thighs.
Cross the right leg over the left. Reach up as high as possible. Let the arms come down into goddess arms.
Pull your elbows and shoulders back. Pull the forearms together. Place the right arm over the left. Double cross the arms.
2. Seated Pigeon Pose
Start sitting toward the front of the chair. Place the right ankle over the left knee. Gently push the right thigh away from the torso.
Lean forward toward the legs. Reverse the position and repeat.
3. Seated Cow and Cat Pose
Exhale and let your back go forward into a rounded position. Inhale, come back up and let your weight go back into your legs.
Let your chest and stomach come out. Drop back and let the back go into a rounded position again while inhaling.
4. Warrior One Pose
With hands on thighs, sit tall. Inhale and exhale from the abdomen. Open your arms to the side and return the palms of your hands to your thighs.
With hands on thighs lean to one side. Come back to the middle and lean to the other side. This tutorial will guide you through the complete movement.
5. Seated Mountain Pose
Inhale and elevate the shoulders. Exhale and let the shoulders come down and back.
The mountain pose is mostly a meditative posture with little movement that focuses on mindfulness.
6. Bridge Pose
This pose utilizes a folded mat on the seat of the chair, a strap to go around the thighs and a block to support the buttocks.
You can stay in this pose for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on what you can tolerate.
7. Seated Forward Bend
Sitting half way forward on the chair, inhale and raise the arms to the sides and over your head. Exhale and lean forward.
Fold your arms across your knees. Keep the head and spine in alignment. Inhale and sweep your arms straight out in front. Return upright.
Relax and Enjoy Chair Yoga for Seniors
Chair yoga for seniors provides a great alternative to traditional yoga for seniors who have limited mobility.
People who participate in chair yoga can still get the benefits of yoga they would receive from traditional yoga. .
There are resources for finding a class near you. Your local senior center or YMCA are places that may offer chair yoga.
As you embark upon your journey to better health, enjoy the experience that chair yoga for seniors provides.
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.