Take a Seat: Benefits of Chair Yoga

March 28, 2015

In chair yoga, one of the gentlest types of yoga, a chair replaces the mat and gives students who may not have felt comfortable in a traditional yoga class the chance to experience all of the benefits of the

practice. Relaxation, meditation, breathing and asana can all be a part of the practice.

 

“Chair yoga IS yoga. The chair is simply a prop, no different from a block, strap or bolster,” said Joe Kaufman, who will teach an upcoming Chair Yoga workshop at Valley Vinyasa in April.

 

Chair yoga has become popular in senior centers and as a way to introduce disabled students to the practice. Poses are adapted with the chair being used as an extension of the body for stability and balance. Forward bends, cat-cow stretches, twists and even vinyasa can be performed from the support of a chair.

 

 

In addition to older people, types of students who benefit from chair yoga are:

  • People who suffer from arthritis
  • Office workers or frequent flyers. It’s helpful to learn how to perform asanas from a seated position

     to incorporate a few minutes of practice into your work or travel.

  • Overweight people who may have trouble getting up and down from the floor.
  • People with balance issues. Students who have inner ear problems or are just balanced-challenged may experience yoga from the stability of a chair, improving their strength and balance without injury or embarrassment.
  • People with disabilities or injuries that require wheelchairs, walkers or canes.
  • Beginners who may be intimidated by a traditional asana class.

 

The benefits of chair yoga track those of regular yoga: improved range of motion, body awareness, strength, flexibility and lowered stress.

 

Valley Vinyasa will offer the workshop on chair yoga on April 11 from 1:30 to 3:30 with Joe Kaufman.

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