When you picture someone doing yoga you might think of a young, thin woman standing on her head or doing some complicated pose that most of us would never even think of doing. However, yoga really is for everyone, and that includes seniors. There are many different kinds of yoga and nearly everyone can participate, regardless of mobility and flexibility. “Chair yoga” or yoga performed in a seated position on a chair, has become increasingly popular for seniors.
What is chair yoga
Chair yoga was originally introduced to the fitness world as a modified version of hatha yoga for seniors and individuals with health implications. It eliminates the need for people to get on the floor or a mat to do yoga poses and reap their benefits. Almost any traditional yoga pose or move can be adjusted to accommodate chair yoga.
Along with increased ranges of motion through holding poses on a chair, pranayamas (also known as breathing techniques) are a popular practice within chair yoga and can assist in reducing anxiety, introducing or practicing meditation, and creating spatial awareness. Chair yoga is a fantastic exercise option for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis. Because chair yoga allows seniors to stay stabilized, it is a safer alternative to more traditional yoga.
Yoga offers a myriad of health benefits, including increased flexibility, weight loss, and an improved mental state. Chair yoga, or any form of yoga, increases relaxation and reduces stress, which benefits a person’s overall health. Stress reduction can eliminate many medical issues and lead to a longer, more satisfying life.
Strength, balance, and flexibility tend to deteriorate as we age, and chair yoga can slow that process. Maintaining and increasing these things through exercise can maintain or increase mobility and can help seniors stay independent.
One of the most important aspects of senior health is simply to keep moving, and chair yoga allows for this. Staying active can alleviate arthritis pain and inflammation and even reduce or eliminate insomnia. A regular exercise routine helps everyone, not just seniors, sleep better and stay healthier in the long-term.
Chair yoga is also a great way to socialize — it can be done in groups, with a family member, or with an instructor or trainer. Consider suggesting chair yoga, and doing it with them, the next time you pay a visit to a senior family member or friend.
Here at The Manors, we understand the importance of exercise and activities for staying healthy. With a full schedule of activities, our residents have the opportunity to socialize, exercise, and have fun!