Social media feeds full of photographs of health fashions twisted into poses requiring excessive energy, flexibility, and stability might go away you pondering, “Yoga is just not for me.”
Nadine Kelly, MD, founding father of Yogi MD, desires to alter your thoughts.
“We have a tendency to consider yoga as an athletic endeavor that needs to be executed on a mat,” Kelly says. “Yoga observe is about far more than the bodily [poses]; the observe contains abilities like respiration, regulating your feelings, and training self-care.”
What Is Chair Yoga?
Chair yoga, a mild type of yoga that’s executed whereas seated or utilizing a chair for stability, makes the observe extra accessible. In chair yoga, it’s attainable to maneuver into poses like cat/cow, warrior, solar salutations and ahead folds, all whereas seated.
Kelly believes the Arthur Ashe quote, “Begin the place you might be, use what you may have, do what you possibly can,” is ideal for chair yoga.
“You’re there to work and to problem your self, but it surely’s about … understanding what’s best for you,” she says. “I consider yoga poses as adaptable to a pupil’s physique and never the opposite method round.”
Whether or not yoga is completed in a chair or on the mat, the observe nonetheless focuses on the identical core rules: focusing in your breath, being attentive to your ideas, and staying within the second.
The Advantages of Chair Yoga
Analysis reveals yoga is linked to decreased ranges of stress, anxiousness, and despair, lowered ldl cholesterol and blood stress, improved vitality, higher sleep high quality, much less ache, and lowered physique mass index. Matt Minard PT, DPT, bodily therapist with Atrium Well being in Charlotte, NC, believes these advantages prolong to chair yoga.
Chair yoga can be a very good, protected exercise for learners.
“It’s an effective way to work your core, discover the completely different vary of movement of the joints and prioritize motion,” Minard says. “Once you’re sitting down or utilizing a chair for stability, the protection issue goes method up.”
Who Ought to Strive Chair Yoga?
Though chair yoga is usually promoted as a observe for individuals who might wrestle with a mat observe, anybody can profit from one of these light train.
Kelly says chair yoga is especially well-suited to individuals who use wheelchairs and people rehabilitating after surgical procedures, dwelling with continual sicknesses, or coping with stability points that make it laborious to get down onto a yoga mat. It’s additionally excellent for a fast exercise throughout the workday or whereas touring.
“It’s not concerning the final result. It’s not about hanging the proper pose,” Kelly says. “Whether or not yoga is taught on the mat or in a chair, it’s all about being wholesome.”
Chair yoga can be best for learners who may be intimidated by a conventional mat observe as a result of it provides a protected solution to study the poses, Minard provides.
The place to Discover Chair Yoga Lessons
You’ll find chair yoga courses at neighborhood facilities, health amenities, and yoga studios. There are additionally numerous on-line choices. On this video, Kelly offers detailed directions for a brief chair yoga observe that’s appropriate for all ranges.
Learn how to Get Began
To observe at dwelling, use a sturdy chair (an workplace chair on wheels or overstuffed armchair usually are not applicable for chair yoga). Minard suggests a chair that naturally positions your hips barely increased than your knees and lets you put each ft flat on the ground.
“In case your ft aren’t flat on the bottom, your weight is all in your backbone and if the chair is simply too low and your knees are above your hips, there may be extra impingement in your hips,” Minard says. “You need to have the ability to do gradual, managed actions with out placing further stress in your again or hips.”
Ensure that the chair is on a secure floor like carpet or a yoga mat to maintain it from slipping. You can even place the again of the chair in opposition to a wall for further stability, Minard provides.
Yoga props like blocks, straps, and resistance bands which might be frequent in mat practices aren’t required for chair yoga — until you need an additional problem.
“Chair yoga is an efficient place to begin to make use of muscle tissues you haven’t used shortly with out the potential dangers of overloading [your muscles and joints] or falling,” Minard says. “If the resistance out of your physique weight isn’t sufficient of a problem, you possibly can add mild hand weights, ankle weights or resistance bands to your chair yoga observe.”