13 Chair Yoga Poses for Seniors

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“Greater than a 3rd of People who follow yoga are age 50 and older,” in response to analysis by yoga therapist Carol Krucoff. Some have been doing yoga for many years. Actually, many seniors proceed to follow nicely into their 60s, 70s and past.

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Others are new to yoga, urged to take up the follow due to its well-researched well being advantages for hypertension, osteoporosis, arthritis, hormonal adjustments, and different circumstances that are likely to influence seniors. Whereas well being care suppliers usually advocate it as a delicate train possibility, yoga follow does include caveats.

“Yoga contributors aged 65 years and older have a higher price of harm in comparison with different age teams,” in response to Krucoff, creator of Chill out into Yoga for Seniors. That’s to not say that we must always surrender yoga after we get our AARP card. However our follow may want to proceed to evolve as we mature.

Sustaining steadiness, energy, and mobility

As we become old, we naturally lose energy and adaptability, which might in flip have an effect on our sense of stability and steadiness, in response to the Mayo Clinic. Thankfully, yoga is understood for its capability to assist enhance muscle tone, flexibility, coordination, and steadiness. The important thing for seniors, particularly those that are new to yoga, is to search out methods to follow that permit them to really feel secure and supported all through the follow. That’s the place props, together with chairs, may also help.

Chair yoga is just not essentially synonymous with yoga for seniors. Anybody can follow with a chair–both sitting down or utilizing the chair for help in standing poses—and the follow can vary from comparatively simple going to downright sweaty. It’s an adaptable method to follow that permits you to attain your specific objectives and skills.

Do not forget that every individual’s physique develops in another way over time, and all of us carry in several well being considerations and bodily circumstances. Don’t be shy about experimenting with other ways to strategy yoga poses relying in your specific wants. For instance, hypertension or glaucoma could preclude ahead bending poses. It’s possible you’ll wish to keep away from bearing weight on injured knees or arthritic joints.

The excellent news is that there are virtually infinite prospects for adapting your asana follow to fit your wants. Under are strategies for poses that may attraction to seniors or anybody who needs to follow with a chair for help.

To follow sitting in a chair

Individuals who have an harm or situation that gained’t allow them to stand or who could not be capable of get right down to (or up from) the ground, could select to follow frequent yoga poses whereas seated in a chair. A folding chair or different sturdy chair with a low, open again will permit you to use the again and legs of the chair that can assist you get into the pose.

(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose with Cat/Cow)

The aim of Mountain Pose is powerful, upright posture. Sit towards the entrance of your chair. Set your ft and knees hip-width aside, and place your arms in your thighs or permit them to fall down by your sides. Attain the crown of your head towards the ceiling to elongate your backbone. Permit your shoulders to calm down away out of your ears. Look ahead, retaining your chin parallel to the ground and a few area behind your neck.

You may also follow Marjaryasana (Cat) and Bitilasana (Cow) from this place. Exhale as you draw your navel towards your again, tuck your tailbone, and draw your head and shoulders ahead to create a deep curve in your again. On an exhale, transfer in the other way, arching your again, lifting your chest and face up towards the ceiling.

Bharadvajasana, Bharadvaja's twist on a chair. She wears white yoga shorts and top and sits against a white background
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvaja’s Twist)

Start in Mountain Pose, sitting towards the entrance fringe of your seat. Inhale and lengthen your backbone. On an exhalation, twist to the proper, retaining your hip factors dealing with ahead and turning out of your waist and shoulders. Carry your left hand to the skin of your proper thigh for light leverage, and attain your proper arm again and maintain the again of the chair for stability. Breathe on this pose, gently deepening your twist if that feels snug for you on every exhalation. If you end up prepared, launch your arms and unwind to return to Tadasana. Repeat on the other facet.

Cow Face Pose
(Picture: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

From Mountain Pose, carry your ft and legs collectively. Raise your proper leg and cross it over your left thigh. Lengthen your arms out to the perimeters parallel to the ground. Attain up along with your left hand and produce your bicep consistent with your ear, then bend your elbow and attain your hand towards the again of your neck. Internally rotate your proper arm in order that your palm faces behind you. Bend your proper elbow and produce the again of your hand towards your backbone. Attain down along with your left hand and up along with your left, inching your arms alongside your backbone towards each other. Your fingers could meet in Gomukhasana, nevertheless it’s nice in the event that they don’t. Unwind and repeat on the other facet.

Woman practices Garudasana, Eagle Pose,on a chair. She wears white yoga shorts and top and sits against a white background

Garudasana (Eagle Pose)

From Mountain Pose, cross your legs along with your left thigh over your proper. It’s possible you’ll carry your left foot near or behind your proper calf. Lengthen your backbone and prolong your arms out to your sides shoulder peak and parallel to the ground. On an exhale, sweep your arms ahead till you may cross your proper higher arm over your left. Bend each arms on the elbows and, if attainable, carry the again of your arms collectively. In Eagle Pose, you’ll really feel a stretch throughout your shoulders, however keep away from hunching ahead by retaining your elbows lifted and your arms and chin parallel to the ground. If you end up prepared, unwind your legs and arms and return to Mountain. Repeat on the opposite facet, reversing the cross of your legs and arms.

Asian American woman in bright pink top and tights practices Triangle pose in a chair
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Utthita Trikonasana (Prolonged Triangle Pose)

From Mountain Pose shift to the left facet of your chair in order that your left buttock is on the very fringe of your seat. Plant your ft on the ground along with your knees aligned over your ankles. Open your left leg out to the facet in order that your legs are perpendicular to one another. Straighten your left leg. Inhale, lengthening your backbone as you elevate your arms and prolong them out to the perimeters parallel to the ground. On an exhale, lean to the left, and produce your left hand to your left leg. Lengthen your proper arm straight up along with your palm ahead. In Triangle, chances are you’ll select to look ahead or flip your head to search for at your proper hand. If you end up prepared, elevate your torso again to seated and produce your left leg to fulfill your proper. Shift to the proper facet of your seat and repeat the pose on the other facet.

A Black woman sits on a chair practicing Firefly/Tittibhasana. Her legs are lifted and wide and her hands are pressed into the chair seat. The chair is black, the floor is light wood, the background is white
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)

From Mountain Pose, open your knees out extensive towards the corners of the seat of your chair. Carry your arms to relaxation on the entrance fringe of the seat. Lengthen your backbone, interact your abs, and press your arms strongly into the chair seat, as for those who had been going to elevate your physique off the chair in Firefly. Interact your quads to straighten each legs and elevate your ft off the ground.

A woman with dark hair practices Reverse Warrior on a chair. She is wearing copper colored tights and top .
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)

From Mountain Pose, shift to the proper facet of your chair in order that your proper buttock is off the sting of your seat. Open your left knee out to the facet and in order that your thigh is totally supported by the seat of the chair. Your left foot and knee level e left and your and your knee is aligned over your ankle. Lengthen your proper leg straight to the proper, urgent the outer fringe of your foot down and lifting the arch to interact that leg. Inhale, lengthening your backbone as you elevate your arms and prolong them out to the perimeters parallel to the ground. On an exhale, curve to the proper as you attain your left hand towards the ceiling and produce your proper hand to your left leg. Have a look at your left hand in Reverse Warrior. If you end up prepared, elevate your torso again upright. Bend your legs collectively in Mountain Pose. Shift to the left facet of your seat and repeat the pose on the other facet.

Utilizing the Chair for help

Utilizing a chair could assist these of us who wish to follow standing poses however who could really feel safer with one thing to carry onto for help. The chair can even function a prop serving to carry the ground as much as meet the individual’s degree of flexibility.

 

Tree Pose
(Picture: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Place a chair at your proper facet, with the seat dealing with you. Holding on the again of the chair for steadiness, elevate your proper leg and place your foot on the chair. Rotate your leg at your proper hip to open your knee out to the facet, and produce the only of your foot towards your thigh. You’ll be able to relaxation your knee on or in opposition to the again of the chair. In Tree Pose, you may select the hand place that’s snug for you–arms prolonged down and barely away out of your physique, palms collectively at your coronary heart, or reaching up overhead. While you’re prepared, carry your proper foot down to fulfill your left and return to Tadasana. Swap the chair to the opposite facet and repeat the pose on the other facet.

A Black woman wearing light colored shorts practices Half-Standing-Forward-Bend with a chair for support
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Ahead Bend)

Stand dealing with a chair that’s two to 3 ft in entrance of you. On an exhale, hinge at your hips and fold ahead till your again is parallel to the ground. Place your arms on the seat of the chair. Lengthen your head ahead to elongate your backbone, elevate your navel towards your backbone, and transfer your shoulders away out of your ears. Look straight down. If you end up prepared, return to standing.

Woman practices Puppy Pose with a chair. She places her head on a folded blanket in the seat of a folding chair. Her arms reach over the back of the seat.
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Uttana Shishosana (Pet Pose)

Stand dealing with a chair that’s set two to 3 ft in entrance of you. On an exhale, hinge at your hips and fold ahead till your brow meets the seat of the chair. (You’ll be able to stack folded blankets or pillows on the chair to lift the peak of the seat to fulfill your head.) Lengthen your arms ahead towards and relaxation them on the seat of the chair. For a stronger shoulder opener, arch barely to put your arms on the again of the chair and press your chest towards the ground to imitate the motion of Prolonged Pet Pose. If you end up prepared, launch your arms and press again as much as standing.

A woman with dark hair practices Triangle Pose with a chair for support. She is wearing copper colored clothes. The folding chair is black, the floor is light wood, the wall behind her is white
(Picture: Andrew Clark. Clothes: Calia)

Utthita Trikonasana (Prolonged Triangle Pose)

From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), place a chair at your left facet, with the seat dealing with you. Step your ft 3 to 4 ft aside. Rotate your left leg and switch your left foot towards the chair; flip your proper foot in barely. Exhale, lengthen your backbone, and lift your arms out to your sides till they’re parallel to the ground. On an exhale, hinge at your hip to tilt your torso to the left as you press your proper hip to the proper. (In Triangle Pose, think about somebody is attempting to drag your hips to the proper.) Carry your left hand to relaxation on the seat of the chair, as you attain your proper hand straight up towards the ceiling. Hold size in your backbone to keep away from bending or collapsing into the left facet of your physique. Swap the chair to the opposite facet and repeat the pose on the other facet.

A South Asian woman wearing burgundy shorts and tank practices Half Moon using a folding chair as a support
(Picture: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

From Prolonged Triangle, carry your proper hand to your hip and switch your head to have a look at the seat of the chair. Supported by your hand on the chair, shift your weight into your left leg and elevate your proper leg. When you can, carry your thigh parallel to the ground. Flip your chest and hips out to face the proper facet of the room as for those who had been attempting to stack each hips and each shoulders perpendicular to the ground. Be sure that your proper knee and toes are additionally dealing with proper. Hold your proper hand in your hip or attain your prime hand to the ceiling and switch to search for in Half Moon Pose. Swap the chair to the opposite facet and repeat the pose on the other facet.

Extended Side Angle Pose
(Picture: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

Utthita Parsvakonasana (Prolonged Aspect Angle Pose)

Begin in Tadasana, with a chair positioned at your facet with the again towards you. Step your ft 3- to 4-feet aside. Flip your left foot out in order that your toes are aligned with the again legs of the chair. Flip your proper foot in barely. Lengthen your arms out to your sides in a T place, palms up. Bend your left knee, hinge on the hip, and lean towards the chair. Relaxation your left arm on the again of the chair. In Aspect Angle, attain your proper arm up over your proper ear, palm dealing with the ground  Open your chest out to the proper. Press your proper hip right down to create a straight line out of your proper ankle to your proper hand. Swap the chair to the opposite facet and repeat the pose on the other facet.

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