In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.
As we grow older, our bodies begin to experience more pains and niggles. With muscle stiffness setting in more severely, many of the seniors refrain from any form of exercise, which makes it harder to stay healthy. However, chair yoga for seniors is a simple way to help loosen these muscles and improve your overall health.
In the following article, we will have a closer look at chair yoga for seniors and how it could potentially change your life for the better. Yoga is a scientific manner of working out that can not only improve muscle flexibility in elders but also improve blood pressure while reducing the strain on your joints from health issues like arthritis.
Vinyasa and other forms of active yoga can be demanding on the body. These forms of yoga are often reserved for some of the younger individuals. However, there are still seniors in shape to perform active yoga. If you cannot perform rapid yoga, the following benefits are what you can expect from performing chair yoga:
Much like any other form of yoga, there are a few common poses that one can start with. These poses work best for seniors but can be performed regardless of their age. We have identified a couple of the best poses for seniors looking to improve their lifestyle and overall health:
Seated Mountain (Tadasana)
The seated mountain pose is one of the most common to perform on a chair. It does not require any special movements aside from a modified shoulder shrug. One of the main benefits is that it will increase the blood flow while strengthening your posture. Additionally, it can help with breathing issues.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Much like the normal Warrior pose, the warrior 1 pose is one of the top yoga poses for core strength and stability. It targets the upper part of the core and the shoulder blades while improving your breathing. Additionally, the pose is effective for keeping your posture upright.
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
One of the biggest issues we develop, as we grow older is back pain. However, yoga can help alleviate mild back pain and strengthen some of the muscles around your spine. The Seated Forward Bend Pose will emphasize your lower back and your core.
Eagle Arms (Garudasana Arms)
The Eagle Arms Pose might not place a lot of stress on your upper body, but it targets your shoulders and joints. As you grow older and become more accustomed to joint pain, you will find that you need to keep them loosened.
Simple Seated Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana)
While there are many more poses, we have decided to include the Simple Seated Twist as one of the final poses for seniors. A twisting pose turns your body in positions it does not necessarily need to be in. However, it strengthens the muscles around the side of your core, which leads to a large increase in overall flexibility.
You can start performing yoga poses whenever you like or when you have the time. For many people, it is simple to do it at their desks during the day whilst working. However, sticking to a routine can be more effective. The following routine is a basic guide that you can follow when you start but can be gradually made harder.
It is best practice to always start with a 10-minute warm-up session before working out. You can do a few basic stretches to ensure that muscles are loose and ready to be trained.
Performing The Routine
You can break down the routine to as many poses as you like. However, you will need to start small and gradually build up to doing more poses. We have identified a few poses that can be performed in the right sequence to get you started:
All of these poses should not take you more than 20-minutes to complete with the added 10-minute warm-up routine. However, you should perform them in the above-mentioned order to ensure that the poses work in sequence.
One thing you need to do when it comes to working out is rest. Rest days are extremely important and will help your body recover to give you the best chance for performing the next day. Muscles also grow and become stronger while resting.
Gentle Chair Yoga For Seniors is a great way to get yourself into the world of yoga and loosen up a few of those stiff muscles. It does not take too long to master and within a couple of weeks, you will reap some of the rewards. If you enjoy chair yoga and think we might have missed any poses, let us know in the comment section.
Yes, many scientific studies back the fact that chair yoga is beneficial to senior citizens in various ways.
Poses like the Eagle Pose and Cat Pose are two of the most common for individuals in a wheelchair. However, all the above-mentioned poses are done inside the chair, which makes them effective for people in wheelchairs.
Gentle Chair Yoga with Sarah Starr is one of the best DVDs to get you started and will help you understand all the basic poses.
Chair yoga in general is often gentle and promotes breathing exercises. The form of yoga and sequences the seniors will perform can be used for meditation purposes as well. Standard meditation practices can also be emphasized on a chair.