Get fit while you sit! Anyone from expecting mothers, office workers to seniors are able to do this work out! There are incredible effects and possibilities with Chair Yoga.
Everyone is going crazy for the fit lifestyle nowadays. Different workouts, fitness classes, healthy foods, protein shakes, smoothie bowls… All this can be so overwhelming and yet, who wouldn’t like to get in shape and stay healthy?
As good as it sounds, it’s not that easy. To combine a good fitness schedule with already long working hours is incredibly challenging. Long working hours, extra projects, and quality time with your family… Not to mention an extra hour drive to the fitness club on the other side of the city.
Let’s cheer up! The newest fitness trend Chair Yoga is perfect for everyone! It is also known as ‘Get fit while you sit’. Chair Yoga is a perfect choice for expectant mothers, people working long hours at the office, students in the classroom to fitness professionals and seniors. Chair Yoga is also known to be the best treatment for the health conditions, such as injuries, disabilities and chronic diseases.
What is Chair Yoga
Chair Yoga is a gentle and relaxing form of Yoga. It is practiced while sitting on the chair or using the chair for support. The poses for Chair yoga are taken from even more traditional forms of Yoga, known as Hatha Yoga.
Hatha Yoga teaches the mastery of body movements in order to achieve spiritual calmness and relaxation. It helps you concentrate deeply on your body movements, while withdrawing any external factors and achieving spiritual perfection. Hatha Yoga movements are practiced in order to develop flexibility, strength, bodily relaxation and mental concentration.
The origins of Chair Yoga poses date back to 5,000 years ago. And here is an interesting fact: the first Yoga poses were transcribed on fragile palm leaves. Therefore, both Yoga and Chair Yoga come from Hindu philosophy.
The idea of Chair Yoga postures was firstly discovered to support those in need. So, the idea was born in order to give a possibility for people who would like to do Yoga, but have difficulties with extreme movements.
Particularly, Chair Yoga poses were targeted at senior citizens. Also, at citizens who struggle with weight challenges or anyone who is suffering from a recent or chronic injury.
Nowadays, a Chair Yoga sequence is adapted to different citizens with different preferences. It suits everyone from fitness fanatics, hard working people in the office, expecting mothers or students in the classroom.
7 Benefits of Doing Chair Yoga
Now that we know the origins of Chair Yoga postures, let’s talk about its benefits. Chair Yoga is proven to help improve people’s overall health. In some cases, it is proven to prevent or even heal diseases when practiced everyday and if you implemented Chair Yoga as a lifestyle.
With this idea in mind, Chair Yoga routines can provide for everyone. Especially for people with mobility issues. Let’s look at 7 benefits that Chair Yoga has on your physical and mental health!
1 IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY
Practicing Chair Yoga postures can improve your flexibility. It is especially helpful for the ones with mobility issues.
When practicing Chair yoga, things that were so hard to overcome before, can become and seem easier. As for example, Chair Yoga for seniors can help you to move freely, and practitioners can be able to tie their shoes and help with overall daily activities.
2 IMPROVED STRENGTH
Chair Yoga is also known to build up your body’s strength. As your body becomes stronger, you have more energy during the day for the activities that once seemed difficult.
For example, Chair Yoga is especially good for building up strength of senior people. They can enjoy their hobbies, have a walk outside and enjoy even more social life.
Chair Yoga routines can also help the ones who suffer from recent or chronic injuries. It helps to withstand the current injury better and strengthen the body for the future injuries.
3 IMPROVED PROPRIOCEPTION
One of the most important human internal senses is proprioception. Also known as a position sense. It is a skill of knowing where you body is in space and how to control it accordingly.
Chair Yoga is known for being a great help for improving proprioception.
It is especially great for the seniors. It can improve their coordination and prevent them from falling. Also, it can be perfect for people with injuries or different illnesses. Chair Yoga is powerful in improving your movements and ability to have control over your body.
4 IMPROVED STRESS AND PAIN MANAGEMENT
Chair Yoga is not only physical activity but also mental activity. Besides a lot of physical moves, there is a lot of breathing involved. Breathing practices are closely correlated to Yoga practices.
Working on your breathing can not only reduce and help you with the stress. It is also known to help people coping with pain.
When mastering Chair Yoga, learning how to properly breathe and meditate, you learn how to relax and shift your attention.
As for example, when meditating you can achieve a peaceful mind. In return, it reduces your stress levels and helps you to relax.
Therefore, learning how to meditate and breathe properly can reduce your physical pain. When experiencing chronic or abdominal pain, it is possible to help your mind to relax and shift your attention from the pain. As a result, it help coping with the pain.
5 REDUCED STRESS AND IMPROVED MENTAL CLARITY
Practicing Chair Yoga can also improve your mental clarity and reduce your stress. When practicing Chair Yoga routines it may help you to cope with a feeling of isolation.
According to Harvard Health, Chair Yoga might be the answer to cope with feelings such as depression, anxiety attacks and self - esteem.
It appears that practicing Chair Yoga affects stress response systems in our body. This, in return, decreases psychological arousal. It reduces heart rate levels, lowers blood pressure and helps to breathe calmer.
Also, there is evidence that a Chair Yoga sequence helps to increase heart rate variability. This is an indicator of the body’s ability to react to stress more flexibly.
Being calmer and being able to control your body through Yoga movements and breathing, lead to greater feelings, positivity and well-being.
6 OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET PEOPLE AND SOCIALIZE
As simple as it sounds, attending Chair Yoga classes can be a great help in socializing and meeting new interesting people!
It is especially known to be a great exercise to do for senior people. It keeps you active, energized and being happier with your social life.
7 NON-INTIMIDATING INTRODUCTION TO YOGA
Are you very interested in Yoga and its effects on people’s body and mind? However, are you feeling a bit intimidated by the extravagant moves and the amount of flexibility you need? Chair Yoga is a perfect start! It helps you with the basic Yoga moves, is easy to do anywhere you may be, and is a great test whether this is something for you!
Chair Yoga for Seniors
As we already distinguished, Chair Yoga is good for a lot of different groups of people with different needs. However, Yoga for seniors has shown the most effectiveness for their needs. A study of Florida Atlantic University shows, that Chair Yoga is a perfect medicine for seniors.
According to the study, seniors do not necessarily have to take iron medicine all the time or commit to difficult aerobic classes. Chair Yoga poses for seniors can be just as effective and have a lot of advantages.
Juyoung Park, an FAU social work associate professor who was the co-principal investigator, finds that elders with chronic arthritis reported having less pain and exhaustion after regularly attending senior Yoga classes with chair support.
According to Juyoung Park, seniors usually don’t know how to handle the pain except by taking medication. It also reflects on doctors. Professor Juyoung Park wishes, doctors would look beyond the medication to relief and help seniors with their health issues.
Yoga for seniors can be much more powerful than medication. It therefore has much more effects and advantages for seniors than taking medication all the time.
Chair Yoga poses for seniors is perfect for those who might not be able to stand, have flexibility or balance issues or suffer from diseases such as arthritis.
Benefits of Chair yoga for seniors
Chair Yoga has so many physically and mentally healing features. However, Yoga for seniors is the most beneficial of all. As our bodies get older and the activity levels drop, it is crucial to stay active and heal from outside and within us.
Yoga for seniors has so many benefits. Let’s look at the top health and social activity benefits that can be achieve through Chair Yoga!
Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Many of these health benefits are no different for seniors as for the rest of the age groups. However, when we get older, our joints lose their range of motion, our muscles tend to stiffen and we are more susceptible to chronic problems. Those health problems can vary from osteoporosis, arthritis to heart diseases.
Yoga for seniors can help to slow down the effects of the ageing process. Senior Yoga helps to maintain muscle softness and flexibility. It helps to keep your mind alert and awake. Also, Yoga for seniors encourages relaxation and strengthens muscles and joints.
Senior Yoga can encourage your body, spirit and mind to remain healthy and strong while reducing the effects of many aging issues.
You wouldn’t believe it. Practicing Yoga for seniors 2-3 times a week can help to stay healthy because it helps with:
- Reducing swelling in joints
- Increasing joint mobility and strength
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Improving balance and stability
- Improving sleep
- Aiding digestion and elimination
- Reducing chances of having a fall
- Improving blood flow
- Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
A lot of health benefits are described by Juls Bower, a certified yoga instructor specializing in Yoga for seniors.
She describes, most Chair Yoga participants report a better sleep at night after 1-3 weeks of regular senior Yoga classes. Many of seniors who practice Yoga for seniors report better bowel movements and improvements in constipation.
Also, gentle yoga for seniors helps them with pain from Arthritis. It also helps with Sciatica, chronic backache and other conditions that tend to decrease or even disappear when practicing Yoga for seniors.
Another huge problem among senior people is fear of falling. According to PMC (National Institute of Health), falls are among the most common problems that affect seniors.
In fact, at least 50% of those over the age of 80 fall annually!
Following the facts, the study was conducted in order to assess the feasibility and safety of structured yoga classes for seniors with falling risks. In fact, the results show that Chair Yoga is beneficial in improving mobility and reducing fear of falling.
Social Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
According to Juls Bower, a certified yoga instructor specializing in Yoga for seniors, relaxation is a skill! It is not dependent on circumstances as most of us think!
We believe when we pay all the bills we will be much happier. And we think when our grandsons will visit us we will be happier. Most of us are in a constant state of waiting for the world outside to make us happy!
Like any other skill, relaxation can be learned! Chair Yoga can be a good way of releasing tensions and learning how to breathe properly. In return, it teaches you how to relax and feel happy.
As Yoga for seniors has so many health benefits, it also helps you with your inner well being and social life! Here are few Chair Yoga for seniors benefits that you are might looking for:
- Improving mood and well-being
- Recovering from surgery
- Aiding in the grieving process
- Reducing depression and anxiety
- Reducing stress and tension
- Helping to stay motivated and active throughout the day
- Improving social activity (attending Chair Yoga classes)
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