For those of us challenged by limited mobility—be it due to an aging body, excess weight, joint issues such as arthritis, or even recovering from injury or surgery, chair yoga provides a path to well being through supported movement and breath, allowing us to regain strength and to garner back a healthy sense of self and purpose in life.
Chair yoga is yoga done with the support of a chair and offers many of the myriad benefits that regular yoga brings to the physical body, as well as generating a vibrant quality of life and serenity of mind and spirit. With a regular practice of chair yoga one can expect to experience improved flexibility, mobility, circulation, and digestive function; better sleep and appetite; greater relaxation; and clarity of mind—just for starters!
Conscious breathing, an essential aspect of yoga, is another reason to bring yourself to chair yoga. Breathing is an automatic function of the body, however becoming aware of and consciously moving the breath through the body and uniting breath with movement is what separates yoga from other disciplines. Conscious movement of the breath creates a depth of practice without which, we would not be practicing yoga. Breath awareness provides the practitioner with deepened muscular response, reduced stress levels, oxygenation of the body, strengthened lungs, and greater overall happiness—to name just a few of the many benefits. Even if one is too ill, injured, or physically bound to bring much movement to their chair yoga practice, that one hour of conscious breathing will bring a myriad of health benefits, restoring balance to body and mind.
Most any traditional yoga pose can be adapted to work with the support of a chair. Though accessible for many, don’t think that it can’t be a challenge! Chair yoga supports people of all levels to work within their own limits and to continually expand and deepen their practice just as regular yoga does. We get out of it what we give it—for some, just showing up to breathe and gently move is plenty, while others will prefer to work more deeply to rebuild, regenerate, and regain healthy, youthful vitality—whatever your approach, chair yoga is a wonderful option. What are you waiting for?
Ayama Yoga and Movement Arts in Meadow Vista, CA offers chair yoga each Tuesday from 3-4pm. For more information call 530-559-7554 and visit our website: AyamaMovement.com.