Do you have an injury or recovering from injury or surgery and can’t practice standing yoga on the mat? Chair yoga might be the answer.
Chair yoga is accessible and inclusive form of yoga. It includes all the elements of mat yoga, it has the same energy flow and benefits.
The whole practice can be conducted in seated position.
Chair yoga is also suitable for those who’s balance is not so good or do not wish to practice on the mat or aiming to progress from chair yoga to mat practice or like to combine the two. Office workers can also reap the benefits of this style.
I have been using chair in my own practice and teaching for many years, mainly for twisting and standing poses but they are helpful for back bends, forward bends with the forehead supported or for relaxation, where we lay on the floor and rest the calves on the seat of the chair. You do not need a special chair, lot of space or any other equipment. A fold up chair is perfectly suitable.
Chair yoga is useful in therapy to treat problems (lower back, scoliosis), knee problems or for stiffer people who are unable to bend towards the floor without sufficient elevation and support.
Some seniors’ centres, ‘Independent Living facilities’ and aged care facilities (dementia units inclusive) offer chair yoga in their wellbeing programmes. I am now qualified to teach in these facilities. These classes are generally more gentle than mat yoga.
As we age it is important to maintain our range of movement, simple moves of ‘reach and pick’ are very useful so as poses to mobilize our joints.
The restorative yoga poses below are my favourites, they help me to rejuvenate before going out or to unwind before going to bed.
Enjoy your practice!