When someone starts talking about yoga, do you picture incredibly flexible fitness fanatics bending their bodies into pretzels? While some advanced poses can be mind-bendingly twisty, you don’t have to be an aspiring contortionist to enjoy this form of exercise. You can do yoga if you are struggling with limited mobility, balance issues, or stubborn stiffness. Without ever leaving your seat, you can take advantage of the many benefits of chair yoga.
The Benefits of Chair Yoga
The benefits of an active lifestyle are highly documented, so it can be incredibly frustrating when age, illness, or injury makes exercising a challenge. Luckily, chair yoga is both safe and effective. What are some of the benefits of chair yoga?
The ability to bend, twist, stretch, and move freely is important for more than doing yoga. It allows you to do the things that you need to do and engage in the activities that you love. Although some people assume that a loss of flexibility is inevitable as they age, they’re mistaken. With flexibility, the rule is “use it or lose it.” By gently challenging your body with chair yoga, you can actually increase your flexibility and improve your mobility.
Using your muscles to complete yoga poses builds strength. More strength can lead to better balance, which can reduce your risk of falls. It can also improve your body’s ability to withstand injury.
Doing yoga generally means shifting smoothly from one pose to another. Moving from one pose to another improves your proprioception. What is proprioception? It’s your ability to accurately sense where your body is in space. With better proprioception, your coordination improves. In addition, your risk of falling decreases.
Mindfulness is an inherent part of yoga. Focusing on your movement, your breathing, and how your body is reacting to the exercise creates a kind of moving meditation that promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improves mental clarity. Like other forms of exercise, chair yoga may also help improve mood and offer some relief from issues like anxiety and depression.
Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that one of the perks of exercise is reduced pain. That’s because working out prompts the body to release natural painkillers like endorphins. Participating in chair yoga allows you to capitalize on this natural form of pain relief.
Improved Pain Management Skills
In addition to stimulating the body to release natural painkillers, chair yoga can provide you with valuable tools that can hone your skills for managing your pain. The exercise’s focus on meditation and breath can be applied in other situations to cope with pain and discomfort.
Maintaining a regular exercise routine is often associated with better sleep, and chair yoga is no exception. The exertion of this exercise can help ensure that you are ready to rest, and the accompanying reductions in stress and pain can reduce the chance that these disruptive discomforts will interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
People of all ages and activity levels can enjoy chair yoga. If you would like to experiment with this exercise in the privacy of your own home, explore the many tutorials available on YouTube. For a more lively and social workout, try participating in a chair yoga class. In addition to improving your fitness, you can make new friends. Plus, many assisted living communities offer chair yoga classes as a part of their event schedule.
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