One beautiful thing about yoga is that it is accessible to everyone. Of course, yoga practice will differ depending on factors like age, sex, and some underlying health issues. However, there are a lot of possibilities in yoga that everyone can tap into, including elderly people and people with restricted mobility. Chair yoga is the yoga practice specially designed with considerations of factors like mobility issues, health issues, and age. Therefore this yoga practice is the best practice for anyone that falls under the above categories especially those with restricted mobility. To better understand chair yoga, we give an outline below that serves as a framework for the practice of chair yoga.
Chair Yoga Practice Outline
Following all necessary instructions to do proper chair yoga, we have formed a 50 to 60 minutes chair yoga class sequence you can use as your routine.
The start, which has to do with breathing exercises.
- Kapalbhati: This improves bowel movement and abdominal strength. Do about 3 rounds of 20 exhales at a slow pace to get started.
- Anulom Vilom: This is nostril breathing without withholding. Alternate between breathing in through one nostril on 4 counts and the other nostril on 8 counts.
- Slow exhalation: A simple breathing practice. Inhale and hold for 4 counts. Exhale and hold for 8 counts. Increase the count gradually till you reach 12 and 16 counts.
- Abdominal breathing:
Body mobility, which has to do with micro-exercises to improve body movements.
- Eye movement: Be comfortable in a sitting position with your head straight and aligned. Roll the eyes up, down, left, right, diagonal, and in circles without moving the head or body.
- Neck movement: Still in a sitting position. Keep the shoulders low. Work the head slowly in all angles, moving it to the right, left, up, down, back, front, diagonal, and in circles. Coordinate your breath with this movement.
- Shoulder movement: In a sitting position with the chest stretched wide, work the shoulders like the above movements.
- Hip movement: While sitting on a chair, work one leg by raising it up and down, bending, and moving it in circles. Do this about 5 times then switch to the other leg.
- Knee movement: lift one leg up with the knee bent. Stretch the leg and release it to the first position before you switch to the other leg.
- Ankle movement
You can continue with some coordination and strength-building exercises. The practice that follows should include some chair yoga asanas like seated cat pose, seated eagle pose, seated cow face pose, and seated mountain. Lastly, end the yoga with relaxation practice or sound meditation to calm their mind and body. This should last about 15 minutes.
The benefits of chair yoga are numerous. Some of them include:
- Improving body balance and coordination.
- Improving joint mobility and range of motion.
- Improving blood circulation.
- Improving muscle balance and building strength.
- Improving body posture.
There are variations of chair yoga. Before you do this yoga practice, you can inquire from your yoga teacher on the variations and the various forms you can use.