The Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors

January 6, 2023
The Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors

The fresh start of a new year provides an opportunity for new goals for the year ahead. This is when many people resolve to eat healthier and exercise more. If these resolutions resonate with you, then this blog is a great place to start! Of course, there are many benefits to focusing on health and wellness at every age, but especially for seniors. According to the CDC, short intervals of moderate physical activity (about 5-10 minutes) daily provide several health benefits for seniors such as:  

  • Maintaining the ability to live independently and reduce the risk of falling.  
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  
  • Improves stamina and muscle strength.  
  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, and bolsters feelings of well-being.  
  • Helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints.  
  • Helps reduce joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis.  

One of the best physical activities for seniors to do is yoga because it focuses on fitness, wellness and relaxation. Yoga – derived from the Sanskrit word “yuji”, meaning yoke or union of mind and body – is an excellent low-impact activity and is great for people of all fitness levels. Yoga involves a combination of gentle stretching, deep breathing and meditation. In addition to the benefits of exercise, yoga specifically helps improve cardiovascular endurance, as well as boosts mental fitness in areas like memory, clarity and focus.  

One of the things that makes yoga so popular is that anyone can do it, regardless of physical limitations. But is that really true? What if, due to age, mobility or injury, you need to practice from a chair?  

No problem!  

Chair yoga, or doing yoga stretches from a seated position, is an excellent way to achieve physical exercise. If you’re someone with balance issues, or just looking to start your yoga practice slowly, then chair yoga is a great place to start! And best of all, people who practice chair yoga are able to enjoy many of the same benefits as someone who practices “regular” yoga, including help with stress, pain and fatigue, as well as help with joint lubrication and balance.  

If you’re looking for a great way to exercise your body and mind through chair yoga, read on! 

What Do You Need for Chair Yoga?

While not much is needed for you to get started with chair yoga or seated stretches, there are a few essential equipment items:  

  • A stable, armless chair  
  • A flat, level surface for your chair  
  • Flexible, comfortable clothing (easy to move in!)  
  • Space to fully extend your arms and legs 
  • A friend or family member (if needed for safety)  

5 Great Chair Yoga Workouts  

If you’ve never done chair or seated yoga before, don’t worry! One place to start is finding a yoga studio near you that teaches chair yoga or yoga classes for seniors. If there are none available, there are also a lot of excellent resources available online. We’ve put together some of our favorite free online tutorials for you here, so you can start your Chair Yoga workouts wherever you are! These workouts can be done by yourself, or with a group of friends. It’s also important to note that it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor when making changes to your exercise routines, and make sure to have a friend or caregiver present if you need assistance. 

17-Minute Chair Yoga Workout

 

If you’re looking for an easy, 17-minute chair yoga workout, Chair Yoga with Adriene is a great place to start! The workout begins and ends with centering breathing exercises with several great stretches and chair yoga positions throughout. She also does a great job of explaining each move verbally and how your body benefits from each movement, while also showing the proper way to do achieve each position.  

18-Minute Chair Yoga Workout

 

Similar to Adriene’s workout, Kassandra’s Chair Yoga workout is a full work out at about 18-minutes. Kassandra also does a great job of describing each movement verbally and visually. 

15-Minute Chair Yoga Workout 

This is a great chair yoga workout video because it shows a senior doing each move alongside the instructor. This workout features ten moves that integrate stretching and breathing. 

10-Minute Chair Yoga Workout 

This chair yoga with Lorraine Ladish workout is slightly shorter than the previous routines at 10 minutes long, and is broken up into 4 sections: warmup, hip release, warrior and goddess. 

7 Chair Yoga Positions 

chair yoga

These 7 chair yoga positions from Healthline can be done back-to-back or one at a time to create your own chair yoga workout regimen! This website provides great visual examples to show how each position should look, as well as an explanation about how to get the most out of each movement.  

If you’re just starting out with your exercise routines, why not try a 30-day chair yoga challenge? All you have to do is commit to doing at least 10 minutes each day for one month. We hope you enjoy integrating chair yoga and general wellness into your daily routine!  

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