Chair Yoga for Seniors
If you’re under the impression yoga is just for the young, fit and flexible, it’s time for you to take a chair, have a seat and think again.
Chair yoga is an excellent alternative to the traditional yoga we know, and is a growing option for seniors as well as those unable to participate in a traditional yoga class due to health or physical issues. Instead of a mat, the participant either sits in a chair or stands next to it, using the chair as a support.
Being more therapeutic, chair yoga is considered a gentle yoga – perfect for senior living communities – and still provides many of the benefits associated with yoga such as:
- Enhances Respiratory Function: Concentrates on inhaling and exhaling filling the lungs to capacity and then exhaling to empty out all the stale air for better breathing technique
- Improves Flexibility and Strength: Allows the body to transition through gentle movements and static holds increasing strength and movement
- Creates a Sense of Centering: Uses the body’s core to create balance and the mind to embrace acceptance
- Provides an Opportunity for Community: Provides the opportunity to socialize in a relaxed atmosphere and share in a common purpose with others
- Reduces Stress: Relieves blood pressure, anxiety, sleep and other health concerns
The goal is to ensure the emphasis in each movement is placed on stretching, holding the pose and consciously breathing through it. Strength is gained by focusing on being aware of the body and the muscles being used, breathing through any discomfort but never pushing to the point of pain. Balance is maintained by working on the right side then the left or the front of the body and then the back of the body. The stretches and poses are modified, but still emphasize alignment and muscle awareness. Conscious breathing throughout the practice allows participants to relax and to create a sense of mindfulness.
The start and the end of each practice will always focus on calming the mind, consciously breathing and allowing each body part to relax. Gaining the ability to calm oneself can become a habit and transition into how we react to situations in life. Though yoga is very much centered on oneself and an individual space, it embraces community as the participants join in a communal breath to share the positive energy with each other.
There are so many benefits to yoga, why wait? Allow your senior living community to take a few minutes every day to relax their mind, breathe deeply and focus inward to improve mental and physical health.
Looking for more ways to engage and improve the well-being of residents? Chat with us.
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