Often when people hear about yoga in chairs, they think about the older population or those who have physical disabilities. Although I have been teaching yoga in chairs at an assisted living community with wonderful results, people of all ages and ability levels practice this type of yoga. The trend’s growing.
The stretches and bends of chair yoga have been practiced in offices for years. Many companies offer classes and instruction specifically for the workplace. Short physical and mental breaks combined with deep breathing can relieve stress and increase performance.
Elementary schools offer yoga to students in their seats. We all know how kids have difficulty sitting still. Allowing a class to stretch, move, balance, and breath for even 5 minutes can result in better concentration and a fresh outlook.
Students and adults also contend with physical ailments from our tech overload. Bending over computers and cell phones causes neck, back, and shoulder pain which can easily be countered with a few good yoga poses scattered throughout the day. Many people on long plane flights enjoy the benefits of yoga in their seats for many of the same reasons.
Chair yoga can be empowering for those who are overweight and learn to adapt poses with chairs. All of our bodies are so diverse. Yoga poses can reflect those differences. When yoga makes people physically aware of their bodies, they can embrace their bodies and practice in creative ways.
My chair yoga routines always start with an exploration of a breathing technique. Then after a warm up from head to toe, the yoga poses work every part of the body building strength and flexibility in the arms, legs, and back. Many students find the conscious relaxation at the end of practice to be their favorite part.
As they say, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
Because of all of these life situations, chair yoga will continue to grow among people of all ages.