Regardless of what you might even see on Instagram, yoga is just not about twisting your self up like a pretzel and standing in your head. It’s about connecting the breath and the thoughts. And that’s nice information for everybody, together with older adults trying to seize the advantages of chair yoga for seniors.
As a yoga teacher who works with seniors residing in assisted-living services, I’ve seen firsthand the advance in temper, mobility and a lot extra when chairs are launched into the observe. Out of the blue, yoga appears doable for nearly everybody. And that’s the coronary heart of yoga.
What Is Chair Yoga?
Is chair yoga good for seniors? Sure! Chair yoga combines historical yoga postures with the help of utilizing a chair. It’s typically related to older populations, however individuals of all ages and skills can profit from working towards in a chair.
Working within the chair makes the observe of yoga extra accessible, however it additionally offers an added fringe of assist and reduces the danger of falls throughout train. It will probably additionally help with alignment, making poses which can be historically finished on the ground extra potential in a chair.
Make no mistake, although. Not all chair yoga is created equally. Issue ranges differ enormously, so remember to select a category with a talented teacher, and one that’s mild and secure.
In my expertise, chair yoga is the perfect sort of yoga for seniors, primarily as a result of it builds confidence and is extra doable for extra individuals. So whether or not you’re over 60 or 102 like a few of my college students, there are chair yoga poses that may possible give you the results you want.
Moreover, the postures beneath additionally function a fantastic start line for yoga for novices. Typically beginning off in a chair helps college students really feel extra achieved and improves mobility in order that they’ll later take their observe to the mat, in the event that they select.
Generally, yoga wellness perks embody:
- Activation of the calming parasympathetic nervous system
- Improved circulation
- Decrease blood stress
- Much less worry, aggressiveness, irritability and rage
- A extra constructive outlook
- Power positive aspects
- And extra
Analysis additionally suggests that chair yoga for seniors and chair yoga for novices could also be a possible and secure intervention to scale back the danger of falls, together with for people of their 90s and 100s!
Different advantages of seated yoga for older adults embody:
Finest Light Chair Yoga for Seniors Routine: 12 Minutes
How do seniors do chair yoga? To assist present choices, right here’s a brief routine with some really useful poses that my older college students take pleasure in. Keep in mind, it’s all about consolation. Initially of each class, I remind college students that all of us have completely different bodily makeups, reside with completely different accidents and ranges of movement, and to easily skip or modify any posture that isn’t working of their our bodies.
Able to get began? Ensure you have a flat-backed chair, with or with out arms. Should you’re in a wheelchair, you might be able to go!
1. Join with the breath
Take a couple of moments or minutes to attach with the breath. Discover the coolness of the breath as your inhale hits the sting of your nostrils. Expertise the nice and cozy of your exhale. Simply breathe and pay attention to the qualities of your breath, possibly noticing the enlargement of your stomach and ribs as you breathe in, after which the letting go of that on the exhale. Breath is life.
2. Mountain pose
To construct a robust, foundational seat, work with mountain pose. Inhale and sit up tall in your chair along with your toes about hip-distance aside, toes on the bottom with the toes pointed ahead (if you’ll be able to).
As you proceed to breathe comfortably, shrug your shoulders towards your ears and draw the shoulders pack and down your again. Discover the sense of opening throughout the collarbones.
In your subsequent inhale, think about a helium ballon tied to the highest of your head and lengthen your backbone to take a seat up just a little straighter.
Strengthen your core by drawing your stomach button towards your backbone gently.
Relaxation your arms in your lap or take your arms down alongside your sides with the palms going through ahead and fingers pointed down towards the earth. Take a number of full breaths right here, really feel your energy and launch.
3. Shoulder shrugs and releases
The subsequent few workout routines will assist heat the physique up and assist us join with the breath even additional by tying the breath with motion.
Inhale shrug the shoulders up towards the ears, exhale and launch. Typically letting out an audible exhale can really feel very refreshing and therapeutic!
Repeat 3 to five instances.
On the finish of each train. Loosen up into the chair and take a number of breaths out and in to relaxation and see the results of the train.
4. Ear-toward-should mild neck stretch
Sitting tall in your chair, elevate the shoulders after which roll then again and down your backbone, gently giving a squeeze within the shoulder blade area.
With the pinnacle beginning at heart, exhale and gently decrease your proper ear towards your proper shoulder. Maintain right here for a number of breaths, then inhale the pinnacle again as much as heart.
Exhale, take the left ear towards your left shoulder and breathe right here for a number of rounds of breath. Inhale and are available again to heart.
Repeat 3 to five instances.
5. Entrance arm lifts
Beginning in mountain pose, lengthen the arms in entrance of you. (If that is too tough on the shoulders, focus much less on the arms lifting and decreasing and work the motion gently and decrease simply above your lap.
Inhale and elevate the the arms a number of inches with the fingers pointing down.
Exhale gently decrease the arms again to your lap with the fingers going through up.
Repeat 3 to five instances.
6. Facet bend with arms in cactus place
Beginning in mountain pose, inhale and produce your arms right into a cactus or goalpost place, drawing the shoulder blades collectively.
Exhale gently bend your higher physique a bit to the left and breathe right here for a couple of breaths.
Inhale come again to heart.
Exhale gently bend your higher physique to the precise and breathe right here for a couple of rounds.
Inhale come again to heart.
7. Stir the pot
Take the legs just a little wider and current your holding a ladle with each arms in entrance of the chest.
Gently picture your self stirring a pot. It could possibly be a small saucepan or an enormous witches’ cauldron!
Softly transfer the higher physique along with your arms, creating some mobility by way of the core.
8. Leg extension with a concentrate on the breath
Now we’ll work on partaking the decrease physique.
From mountain pose, inhale elevate your proper leg, possibly even putting your proper hand in your thigh simply above your knee. Discover the quadricep muscle interact as you elevate on the inhale. Discover it calm down as you decrease on the exhale.
Work right here for 3 to five rounds earlier than taking a break and switching to the left facet.
9. Toe raises and “pitter patter” combo
To steadiness muscle engagement within the calves and anterior tibias muscle within the shin space, we’ll work a mix of toe raises and ankle dorsiflexion that pulls the toes in towards the shin.
Beginning in mountain pose, exhale and elevate your heels off of the bottom such as you’re doing a toe elevate.
Inhale flex by way of the ankle, pulling your toes within the course of your shin to activate the widely underactive muscle groups within the entrance decrease area of the the leg.
Work 5 to 10 founds of this combo earlier than taking a relaxation and noticing the impact in your low legs.
10. Seated leisure.
Coming again to mountain pose, shut the eyes should you’d like and simply breathe. Discover the results of your observe in your thoughts and physique.
Really feel your coronary heart beating.
Let your consciousness move up and down your physique as your breathe, nearly like a steady wave.
Breathe right here for a number of rounds, then carry your arms collectively in entrance of your coronary heart and ship gratitude inside for committing to your observe.
- Chair yoga for seniors and chair yoga for novices makes the advantages of yoga extra accessible to extra individuals.
- Yoga for seniors is proven to probably cut back the danger of falls whereas growing outlook, lowering ache, enhancing osteoarthritis signs and extra.
- By utilizing a chair, yoga for seniors turns into extra secure and builds confidence, too.
- Conventional yoga poses, like mountain pose, may be tailored as a basis posture in chair yoga for seniors’ routines.
- Chair yoga ought to all the time really feel snug and inside an individual’s private capacity. College students must be inspired to skip postures that don’t really feel good of their our bodies, and to all the time modify to suit their distinctive wants.