Social media feeds full of images of health fashions twisted into poses requiring excessive power, flexibility, and steadiness might go away you pondering, “Yoga will not be for me.”

Nadine Kelly, MD, founding father of Yogi MD, desires to vary your thoughts.

“We have a tendency to consider yoga as an athletic endeavor that needs to be carried out on a mat,” Kelly says. “Yoga apply is about rather more than the bodily [poses]; the apply contains abilities like respiratory, regulating your feelings, and practising self-care.”

Chair yoga, a mild type of yoga that’s carried out whereas seated or utilizing a chair for steadiness, makes the apply extra accessible. In chair yoga, it’s doable to maneuver into poses like cat/cow, warrior, solar salutations and ahead folds, all whereas seated.

Kelly believes the Arthur Ashe quote, “Begin the place you might be, use what you’ve got, do what you’ll be able to,” is ideal for chair yoga.

“You’re there to work and to problem your self, however it’s about … understanding what’s best for you,” she says. “I consider yoga poses as adaptable to a scholar’s physique and never the opposite means round.”

Whether or not yoga is finished in a chair or on the mat, the apply nonetheless focuses on the identical core ideas: focusing in your breath, being attentive to your ideas, and staying within the second.

Analysis reveals yoga is linked to decreased ranges of stress, nervousness, and despair, lowered ldl cholesterol and blood stress, improved power, higher sleep high quality, much less ache, and decreased physique mass index. Matt Minard PT, DPT, bodily therapist with Atrium Well being in Charlotte, NC, believes these advantages lengthen to chair yoga.

Chair yoga can be a very good, secure exercise for inexperienced persons.

“It’s an effective way to work your core, discover the totally different vary of movement of the joints and prioritize motion,” Minard says. “Whenever you’re sitting down or utilizing a chair for steadiness, the security issue goes means up.”

Though chair yoga is commonly promoted as a apply for many who might battle with a mat apply, anybody can profit from such a light train.

Kelly says chair yoga is especially well-suited to individuals who use wheelchairs and people rehabilitating after surgical procedures, residing with power sicknesses, or coping with steadiness points that make it exhausting to get down onto a yoga mat. It’s additionally excellent for a fast exercise throughout the workday or whereas touring.

“It’s not concerning the consequence. It’s not about putting the proper pose,” Kelly says. “Whether or not yoga is taught on the mat or in a chair, it’s all about being wholesome.”

Chair yoga can be preferrred for inexperienced persons who is perhaps intimidated by a standard mat apply as a result of it affords a secure option to study the poses, Minard provides.

You will discover chair yoga courses at group facilities, health amenities, and yoga studios. There are additionally a number of on-line choices. On this video, Kelly offers detailed directions for a brief chair yoga apply that’s appropriate for all ranges.

To apply at dwelling, use a sturdy chair (an workplace chair on wheels or overstuffed armchair usually are not applicable for chair yoga). Minard suggests a chair that naturally positions your hips barely larger than your knees and lets you put each toes flat on the ground.

“In case your toes aren’t flat on the bottom, your weight is all in your backbone and if the chair is just too low and your knees are above your hips, there’s extra impingement in your hips,” Minard says. “You need to have the ability to do gradual, managed actions with out placing further stress in your again or hips.”

Be certain the chair is on a secure floor like carpet or a yoga mat to maintain it from slipping. You too can place the again of the chair towards a wall for further stability, Minard provides.

Yoga props like blocks, straps, and resistance bands which might be frequent in mat practices aren’t required for chair yoga — except you need an additional problem.

“Chair yoga is an efficient start line to make use of muscle mass you haven’t used shortly with out the potential dangers of overloading [your muscles and joints] or falling,” Minard says. “If the resistance out of your physique weight isn’t sufficient of a problem, you’ll be able to add mild hand weights, ankle weights or resistance bands to your chair yoga apply.”

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