The Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors
The benefits of yoga are available to everyone. All you have to do is pull up a chair!
Talk to any health or fitness professional, and you’ll likely hear about the benefits of a yoga practice. Many of yoga’s positive effects, like stress reduction and improved mobility, are especially helpful for seniors.
The good news is that all seniors have to do to benefit from a yoga practice is pull up a chair! Read on for more information about chair yoga, what makes it special, why it is so popular, and how seniors benefit.
What is Chair Yoga?
In a chair yoga class, yoga postures are done while seated in a chair or using a chair as a support. The practice offers all the features of a regular yoga class – mindful breathing, strength building, and mobility and balance exercises – in a format that is accessible, particularly for seniors.
In fact, chair yoga was created with seniors in mind. Developed in 1982 by yoga teacher Lakshmi Voelker, the first chair yoga sequence was created for a person with arthritis who had difficulty moving up and down from the floor. Lakshmi recognized that adapting the practice made it accessible to more people, so she continued to develop chair sequences and began training other teachers as well.
Today, chair yoga is popular with seniors, people recovering from injuries, and people with conditions that may cause discomfort while sitting on the floor or standing for long periods of time.
Benefits of Chair Yoga
Chair yoga brings the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of a regular yoga practice to nearly everyone, including those who don’t bend like a pretzel!
While all exercise is beneficial, chair yoga is unique in part because of the focus on breathing. Mindful attention on breathing creates a cascade of positive effects, including reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, improved immune response and digestion, and improved mood.
More benefits of chair yoga include:
- Improved balance and coordination. Not only do the postures help improve strength and dexterity, they also improve proprioception. Proprioception is awareness of where your body is in space, and it naturally declines with age. Good proprioception is key to maintaining balance and preventing falls.
- Relaxation and wellbeing. The focus on mindful breathing in a yoga practice enhances relaxation and increases feelings of wellbeing.
- Reduced pain. Overall stress reduction and improvements in physical health, along with the practice of mindful breathing, have been shown to reduce pain levels.
- Accessibility. A yoga practice may seem out of reach if you’ve only seen young, very fit people in impossible postures! Chair yoga is accessible to nearly everyone.
- Fun! A chair yoga class is a fun and welcoming opportunity to interact with peers.
Here at Sunnyside Manor we offer chair yoga classes specially tailored to all three of our neighborhoods, as well as mind-body wellness programs. See the yoga and fitness schedule on our calendars for Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.
Learn More About Why Families Rely On Sunnyside Manor
When you have questions about senior living, we are here to help. Sunnyside Manor offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, begin with our “Getting Started” guide. Please call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.
Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. The community features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.