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April 27, 2015
Our students vary in physical ability based upon lifestyle, genetics, past injuries and medical conditions. Yoga is popular with the younger adults, but it is also making a comeback with students over 50 years of age. New students in their 50s and older are trying all kinds of styles. Some styles are physically challenging, while others are therapeutic. As teachers, many of us have learned to expand beyond attracting one specific niche. For this reason, it is wise to get training in areas where we intend to teach.
The Need for Yoga After Middle Age
As the Baby Boomers age they are looking for alternatives to traditional healing methods. Many people love yoga because it's like taking preventative medicine. Yoga addresses the underlying causes of many ailments and keeps people flexible and feeling good. However for people who are too old, frail or injured to do the common yoga postures many instructors are offering chair yoga classes. Chair yoga is a gentler form of yoga where participants sit in a chair or use one for support while standing. It is usually based on Hatha yoga poses.
There are many reasons people take chair yoga classes. Often chair yoga is a way for people with disabilities or physical issues to work their bodies into better shape and people with disabilities have embraced it. Often the chair yoga classes are offered at adult daycare centers, retirement facilities and fitness centers for senior citizens because seniors often need the support the chair provides. Plus the chair allows them to safely push themselves to new levels as the attempt to improve their physical and mental fitness and prepare them to enjoy their golden years.
Chair yoga is sometimes prescribed by physicians looking for unique ways to improve the health of their patients. Even people with serious ailments can benefit from participating in chair yoga classes. It takes a special type of instructor to teach yoga in chairs. The yoga instructor must be trained, certified, and sensitive to the physical limitations of their students. Used properly, chair yoga can help people overcome anxiety, arthritis, depression, high blood pressure and even multiple sclerosis. The simple, gentle movements enable people use the chair to do prone, seated and standing postures.
What's Going On?
Proper blood and energy flow is very important for attaining and maintaining good health. Exercises that improve motion can help. People who have difficulty getting on and off the floor often opt for chair yoga as a major part of their exercise regimen. This has led many adult day care centers, assisted living homes, and nursing homes to offer chair yoga classes. The classes help participants learn breathing techniques, yoga postures and meditation and use them to promote relaxation and with it flexibility will follow. Many rehabilitation centers use chair yoga with people recovering from injury.
There is growing demand for chair-based yoga classes. It has been very effective in safely improving the health of office workers, inactive children, people who need physical rehabilitation, and the Baby Boom generation.
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