Written by: Crystal M Hill
“Yoga is a wonderful practice of wellness that can take many different forms. This is a blessing and a curse as it offers sufficient options to suit everybody and every need, yet can be confusing to the practitioner in selecting the appropriate class for their lifestyle.
This article is the first of a series that will focus specifically on chair yoga and its benefits. Chair yoga can fulfill needs for yogis ranging from those with severe movement limitations to those very advanced in their yoga practice. This particular piece will limit our focus to gentle chair yoga.
Gentle chair poses are done while seated in a chair or using the chair as support. This allows for greater safety and stability during the yoga practice. The poses are kept to a basic level and are modified to allow ALL participants to experience the benefits of the poses — even those with limited range of motion, health restrictions or those recovering from injuries.
Gentle chair yoga:
- Improves strength. It’s important for injury prevention and aids in injury recovery, and allows the elderly to enjoy physical activities for more years to come.
- Increases flexibility. It’s beneficial for those with mobility issues who wish to perform simple tasks with more ease, and is also great for those who are very physically active with tight muscles who need to ease into a stretching routine.
- Improves emotional health. Gentle chair yoga helps people cope with anxiety, feelings of isolation (sometimes an issue for the elderly), and dealing with disability/illness and provides mental clarity. “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” —B.K.S. Iyengar.
- Promotes body awareness. It aids in fall prevention and provides body control for those with disabilities.”
To read the full article and learn a few poses that can be done at home or work to feel the benefits for yourself, please visit Nature’s Pathways!