Although, yoga has been popular for thousands of years and its popularity is increasing day by day. There are multiple types of yoga, intense or sweaty styles of yoga which are suitable for beginners and even special yoga poses for athletes (swimmers, think runners, cyclists), kids, people with arthritis, even yoga for pregnant women and Chair Yoga for seniors.
Yoga provides multiple benefits from decreased stress to enhanced strength and flexibility. But it can also be frightening for seniors as due to age, they are unable to do these poses.
Chair yoga for seniors is a gentle and an ideal style of yoga that can be done in a seated position and also integrated with the breathing that benefits both mind and body.
Remember this thing, before initiating any new physical activity; any senior should consult with a healthcare provider. Apart from the seniors, these chair poses are suitable for most of the people.
Chair Yoga for seniors
Seated Neck Rolls
Start by sitting up straight on a chair. Gaze up to the ceiling, keeping your neck erect. Then take your head down to your left shoulder and hold. Rotate your head down towards the floor and take your chin towards your chest. Hold and lastly, turn your head towards the right shoulder. Inhale by the nose in a slow and controlled manner. Repeat it twice.
This warm-up posture releases stress from the neck that is particularly crucial if you spend a lot of time sitting. Avoid this posture if you have a problem or injury to the neck or cervical spine.
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Seated Mountain Pose
Start with sitting straight on a chair. Rotate your shoulder blades back and down, with arms rested on your sides. Pull your bellybutton into your vertebrae to hold your abs and place your arms shoulder-width apart and calm your shoulders. Gaze in between your hands towards the ceiling.
Keep this pose for 5 breaths.
It is sometimes called equal standing or “Samasthiti”. This Yoga pose is repeatedly practiced at the starting and between the poses as this is the way to change and balance the body. The seated deviation lets you check in with this pose, releases stress from the upper body and concentrate on the breath while engaging the core.
Seated Eagle Arms
Start by sitting erect on a chair. Turn your shoulder blades back and down with arms rested at your sides. Draw your bellybutton into your spinal column to engage your abs and place your feet flat on the ground, if possible. Stretch your arms out in front of you at 90 degree angles, palms facing each other. Then put your right arm under your left arm and push the back of your palms together.
Breathe in and sit straight then exhale and place your chin to your chest to extend the back of the neck. Stay in this pose for 5 breaths, then change the arms and keep another 5 breaths.
Seated Forward Fold
Start by sitting straight on chair. Similarly with the previous poses, roll your shoulder blades back and down with arms rested at your sides. Magnetize your bellybutton with your vertebral column to engage your abs and place your feet flat on the ground, if possible. Stretch your legs slightly wider than hip’s distance apart. Breathe out and hinge from the hip, gradually lowering your hands to the ground. Then round your upper back part and lower your chest in between your legs and rest your head and neck down. Let your shoulders rest.
Keep this posture for 5 breaths. Breathe in and slowly roll up, raising your head up at last. Calm the shoulders back and down.
Seated forward fold pose lowers your head under the heart that can have a relaxing effect. This posture is prepared to decrease tension and extend the spine and hamstrings. If you suffer from high blood pressure or eye problems like glaucoma or detached retinas, then avoid this posture.
After sitting on a chair, bend your back and look up to the ceiling. Raise the chin and let your arms rest next to you. As you breathe out, round your backbone and allow your head to drop forward. Push the chin and let your shoulders roll.
Repeat this pose 5 times, moving gracefully from cat to cow with every breath.
This combination of poses extends the overall spine and enhances spinal mobility. By turning the back in “cow pose”, you help in extending the back of the upper body and shoulders. If you have any cervical spine or neck issue, keep the neck in line with the torso during these poses.
You can also try these yoga poses like standing forward fold with a chair, seated forward bend with chair etc.
Refresh your body and mind with this 20-minute chair flow. It is perfect for all levels. Chair Yoga for seniors is a great way to relax from head to toe without the tension of getting injured. This flow is best for those who want a fast way to extend your body and relieve stress while at work, even without leaving your chair.