Chair Yoga is a great way to reduce aches and pains while being substantially supported in the poses. One of the greatest benefits of Chair Yoga is that anyone, regardless of age and fitness level, can enjoy the practice of Yoga. Yoga students with a variety of physical challenges and health issues will be able to participate in a well-rounded practice of Yoga with the added support of a chair, a practice that may be otherwise unobtainable or unmanageable for the student.
Yoga students who are working in an office will also benefit from being able to complete a brief Yoga sequence in order to refresh and restore their energy. Chair Yoga is particularly effective at releasing muscular tension in the neck, shoulders, hips and back. These are areas that are often tight from working at a desk or computer for hours at a stretch.
Three easy and effective Chair Yoga exercises:
Forward Bend – Stand in front of your chair with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart and stand a few feet away from the chair. Bend forward and reach for the back of the chair. Gently bend over the seat of the chair with your torso parallel to the floor, until you feel a nice stretch in your arms, back and legs. Hold for thirty seconds, breathing slowly and deeply.
Kneeling Arm and Shoulder Stretch – if you do not have carpeting, place a towel, or blanket, on the floor to kneel on. Kneel on the floor and place your elbows on the seat of the chair, hands pointing straight up in prayer position. Slowly lean down and away from the seat of the chair until you feel a nice stretch in your triceps and shoulders. Hold for thirty seconds breathing deeply and slowly. * Note – if you are unable to kneel on the floor, use the seat of another chair to place your elbows on, while sitting on your own chair.
Seated Thigh and Back Stretch – while seated, separate your feet wider than your hips, and place your elbows on a chair in front of you. Place your hands on the back, sides or seat of the other chair depending on your level of flexibility. Make sure that the extra chair is far enough away from you so that you get a good stretch. Hold for thirty seconds, breathing slowly and deeply.
Many diseases are perpetuated by a lack of movement. People who are ill, injured, or elderly will benefit substantially by a regular practice of gentle Chair Yoga. Office workers will also benefit because they will be able to substitute a constructive Yoga routine instead of the traditional coffee or smoke break. This practice will help to release tension and revitalize the body and mind. Additionally, Chair Yoga will to increase circulation and stimulate the immune system, enhancing and improving a student’s general overall health status.