Gentle Chair Yoga Postures for Seniors.

We all know – and love!- the incredible advantages and benefits of yoga. Here, we add that even  chair yoga brings infinite ones precisely because it is designed for those who need it most thanks to the comfort of a stable and common position like that of a chair.

Scientific studies show the physical and psychological benefits of yoga. Incorporating it into your weekly routine helps improve health, noticing the difference from the very first lessons with a feeling of relaxation and comfort in the body. Practice after practice, muscle tension decreases and the joints become more mobile and freer so that even basic activities, such as tying shoes, become more feasible.

In the practice of Chair Yoga most of the asanas can be performed with a chair making them possible for every body type, flexibility, mobility and level. This simple modification to more traditional yoga on the mat is super effective; the safety and stability of the chair gradually improve strength, flexibility and balance. Let’s see then the amazing benefits of gentle chair yoga for seniors

The physical benefits of gentle chair yoga for seniors:

    STRENGTHENS THE MUSCLES. With advancing age, muscle tone tends to lose mass, increasing the risk of trauma. An accident, fall or any other trauma requires adequate recovery time. The different postures that can be practiced on the chair help tone the body (re) building a muscle structure that can better support it during daily activities.
    IMPROVE POSTURE. For pregnant women, people with back problems, this yoga is excellent for improving the posture of the whole body. The position to be maintained helps and strengthens the back muscles of the body without neglecting the abdominal part.
    CHECK YOUR WEIGHT. For many overweight people, starting physical activity can be a big problem, due to the risks that being overweight entails and the volume of the body. Chair yoga is an alternative to fitness. Gaining muscle mass helps increase metabolism by rebalancing the general functioning of all organs and making them work better by helping to keep weight under control.
    INCREASE FLEXIBILITY. Elderly people or people with reduced mobility have an excellent result from physical exercise by improving and increasing the range of motion of the entire body.
    HELPS REDUCE PAIN. Practicing yoga two or three times a week helps to strengthen the muscles and oil the joints making them stronger and consequently decreasing the pain.
    IMPROVE BODY CONSCIOUSNESS. Proprioception allows to understand the movement of the body in space and to coordinate the movements accordingly. Especially for older people it decreases increasing the risk of falls and injuries. Chair yoga helps you have better control of your body and movements leading to better movement.

The psychological benefits:

    KEEP THE MIND ACTIVE. For people with degenerative diseases, Alzheimer's patients and elderly people, keeping the mind as well as the body active is essential for a better functioning of the whole organism. Keeping the mind active helps keep the spirit alive and healthy.
    REDUCES STRESS AND ANXIETY that can be caused by a disease or trauma. One of the greatest benefits of yoga is that it has a positive effect not only on the body but also on the mind, thus also improving the quality of life.
    IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE. Yoga as a therapy is for any type of trauma. Chair Yoga improves the individual's body structure both externally with flexibility and strength and internally with relaxation and calm. In this way, those who practice it benefit from it at every level.

Gentle chair yoga for seniors: a bit of practice!

We offer you a simple sequence that adapts some yoga techniques and positions so that you can perform them from a chair instead of on the ground.

How to prepare for gentle chair yoga for seniors

First of all you need a chair, possibly with armrests. Wear comfortable clothing and put socks on. Switch off Make sure you have fasted for at least 2 hours (no yoga on a full stomach!) And turn off your phone: your yoga session will last approximately 45 minutes.

If you don't have time to complete the 45-minute sequence, you can do positions 1 to 3, then doing Seagull Flight (6) and rest (7) from the chair.

Gentle chair yoga for seniors: A sequence for all levels!
Start on the chair, with your back straight without leaning back, with your feet flat on the floor (possibly with a cushion underneath), arms flexed, hands - palm down - resting on the thighs.

Breathe quietly for some time, with your eyes closed, to give yourself time for a little awareness (dharana).

Head in the 4 directions 

Let the head rotate on its own axis, slowly, to the left, without forcing; Stop for 1 breath. Go back to the center; repeat to the right, same time, return. Push the chin up, rest for 1 breath; return. Push the chin to the chest, rest for 1 breath; return to the center. Rest by leaning back and relaxing legs and arms. Repeat the 4 positions for another 2 cycles, increasing the static by 1 breath each time.

Rest: Stretch the legs, lean on the back of the chair, let the arms go

Parvatasana, "Sacred Mountain" 

Sit on the chair, open the arms to the side, well extended. With the arms at shoulder height, rotate the palms upwards. Keep going up to bring your arms to the vertical, join the hands if you can or leave them open up in the sky and rest for 1 breath the first time.

Go back, repeating the gestures backwards.

Rest and repeat 2 more times, increasing the static by 1 breath each time.

Rest: Stretch my legs, lean on the back of the chair and relax 

Paschimottanasana, "Book" 

Place the chair in front of you, slide with my arms along my legs, also bending my torso, with my chin pushed forward, until the chest rests on the thighs.

Relax the head, spread the legs and arms

Rest 3 breaths; Come back repeating the same postures, the head first, helping you with exploring gentle chair yoga postures for seniors that don’t let your stress your back with binds and more hard postures. Rest; repeat 2 more times, increasing the static by 1 breath each time.

When you are done close your eyes and spend a few moment in appreciation for this practice! Namaste 

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