yoga teacher trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Teaching Yoga to seniors is now more popular than ever. Seniors often show dedication toward activities that improve the quality of their lives. For many people, growing older means focusing more on good health, which most people take for granted.  This is especially true of physical and mental health. Many seniors have faced the realization that special steps must be taken to promote and maintain high levels of physical and mental health. One of the safest and most approachable ways of improving the quality of life is through participation in a chair Yoga class.

Practical Benefits

Chair Yoga is also fantastic for one’s joints, which have the potential to be especially delicate. Students with varying levels of arthritis will benefit from the safety guidelines and controlled movement provided in a Yoga class with chairs.  Controlled movement in a class setting will also prevent muscle atrophy.  Using a  chair, and holding a posture, makes the muscles surrounding the joints strong, which is crucial to long term joint health. Using the chair as a prop provides constant stability and significantly reduces the potential for injury.

Students with balance issues or those taking specific medications which can possibly make stability difficult, will find Yoga in a chair to be a perfect fit.  Chair Yoga classes help seniors to maintain good physical shape, and being in good shape means living a higher quality of life overall. By maintaining a physically fit and active lifestyle, seniors can enjoy other activities that require a significant amount of physical fitness and mobility. Gardening, golfing, bowling, and dancing are improved by having enhanced strength, balance, and flexibility.

Class Atmosphere

A chair Yoga class is both fun and relaxing. The stability of the chair makes it possible for students to focus on simply enjoying the asanas in a supportive group atmosphere.  Perhaps one of the most powerful benefits of practicing Yoga in chairs is the social aspect. For students, a chair Yoga class presents a great opportunity to meet like-minded people who also share a passion for health and fitness. Chair Yoga classes are a fun way for people, from all walks of life, to improve or maintain their levels of physical and mental fitness in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Participating in a chair Yoga class also raises the level of mental activity within one’s mind. Moving one’s body in new and unexpected ways strengthens muscles, improves coordination, and creates new neural pathways in the brain. Together, this leads to improved brain function overall.

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