Adding the support of a chair to your yoga practice brings all the enjoyment and advantages of a regular yoga practice and more. Chair yoga is very popular with more senior yogis, who are often looking for a more gentle practice to support any balance and mobility issues that they may have. This can make it less appealing to younger age groups, who think it will be too easy for them and, therefore, a waste of their time. The many benefits of Chair Yoga show that this is not the case.
Chair Yoga is for Everyone
Yes, chair yoga is an attractive option for those with balance and mobility issues, those returning to yoga after an injury or anybody who is just starting out with yoga, but there is so much more to it.
Pretty much every yoga pose that you can do on your yoga mat can be adapted to do on or with a chair. This includes backbends, twists, hip openers, forward folds and sun salutations. And just like on your mat, these poses can be made easy or more intense.
Chair Yoga for Small Spaces
I first tried out chair yoga on holiday. There wasn’t enough room to lay out my yoga mat comfortably, so I pulled out and sat on one of the kitchen chairs instead. This became my daily practice for the following few days, and my love affair with chair yoga has grown from there.
It’s also a great option for grabbing a quick yoga practice during your break in the office at work. You probably don’t want to go through the hassle of bringing a yoga mat to work with you, so using your chair makes it quicker and easier to grab a few minutes during your day. This will do wonders to increase your productivity and improve your focus throughout the rest of your working day.
Chair Yoga Benefits for the Menstrual Cycle
I have found Chair yoga to be really beneficial when I am on my period. You may choose to rest from all yoga during your period, but some days you might want to move and stretch a little to help ease period cramps, loosen up stiff joints and limbs or lift your mood.
After your period has ended and you enter the Inner Spring of your Menstrual Cycle (the Follicular Phase), chair yoga can be used to work with your rising energy but still with that reminder to move tenderly through the early stages of this phase. It is not a time to race back to a strong mat-based sequence. Like the tender shoots of spring flowers, you need to take your time to build your energy up so that you will reach your peak of energy during Inner Summer (Ovulation Phase) and not burn out too soon.
Benefits of Chair Yoga
Practicing chair yoga is no different from any other type of yoga when you consider the benefits it can bring to your body and your mind. Adding in the support of the chair does nothing to diminish the positive effects of a regular yoga practice.
- Improves flexibility
- Improves strength
- Reduces stress
- Reduces pain
- Promotes better sleep
Benefits of Chair Yoga in the Winter
I’ve found it a really comfortable way to practice yoga during the colder months of the year. I practice early in the morning, and through the winter months, it can be a bit too cold down on my mat. Rolling out my mat and placing a chair on top of it has helped to keep my practice going and challenged me to create new chair yoga flows to share with you all.
If you haven’t tried Chair Yoga before, then I urge you to give it a try and see what you think. It’s always good to keep trying new ways to practice yoga to hold your interest and help you build a consistent yoga practice to suit the changing needs of your body and mind each and every day.
More Chair Yoga to try: