Did you know that chair yoga adapts traditional yoga postures into an accessible practice for all bodies? Learn more about chair yoga and start your yoga journey today.
Are you interested in yoga but not sure which style would be a good fit? Do you want to practice but you’re not ready or able to get down on the floor on a mat? Are you short on time and looking to squeeze in a few moments of mindfulness during your workday? Chair yoga is an accessible style of yoga that addresses all of the above scenarios and more!
Before you start your chair yoga practice, there are 4 facts you should know.
1.You can use any chair – You don’t need a special chair to practice chair yoga.
What type of chair is best for chair yoga?
- A chair that has a sturdy straight back
- A chair that has a wide seat for your entire bottom
- A sturdy chair that doesn’t have arms or that has arms that can be folded back
- A chair height that allows your feet to rest firmly on the ground with your knees bent to 90 degrees
Think of your standard folding chair or the types of chairs that are used in commercial office lobbies. If you’re using an ergonomic office chair with a curved back, you can practice while sitting on the edge of your seat to help elongate your spine whenever necessary.
*chair yoga for people who use wheelchairs will often feature postures that focus on the upper body and are taught by instructors who specialize in this demographic.
2.The practice is accessible for all bodies – Chair yoga is popular for the senior community but it’s not only for seniors. People of all ages and body types can enjoy the benefits of chair yoga.
Who should practice chair yoga?
- People new to the practice of yoga
- People recovering from injury or illness
- Office workers who want to enjoy yoga from their desk
- Anyone short on time and limited on space
- People who do not wish to practice on a mat or down on the floor for personal or medical reasons
3.It helps you prepare for mat yoga – Some people think chair yoga is “too easy,” but in many cases, it helps prepare the body for mat based postures. Some chair yoga classes use the chair as a prop for inversions and balance while others challenge students to hold postures for longer, twist deeper or add movement with each posture.
Experienced practitioners might benefit from the support of the chair, in absence of an in-person spotter, when trying to get into more challenging poses. Students who are nervous about trying certain postures on the mat can become familiar with how the movement feels in their bodies while seated or standing with their chair.
4.It’s more than just stretching while sitting in a chair – Some people think chair yoga is just sitting in a chair and doing a few basic stretches. I used to think the same thing before I got certified to teach it! The truth is that there is so much variety in the ways that gentle stretches, poses with props and traditional yoga postures are adapted for a chair practice.
Are you ready to give chair yoga a try? You can start by practicing with me for free here.