Chair Yoga

WHAT IS CHAIR YOGA?

Chair yoga is, well, yoga using a chair! Chair yoga is perfect for all those who think that they can't do yoga! In fact, anybody can do yoga with the proper instruction and the proper support. This class is specifically designed for Seniors and for people with physical challenges who prefer to not get up and down off the floor and who would enjoy the support of a chair. Yoga poses focus on balance, strength and flexibility. Absolutely no previous yoga experience required! Your first class is FREE, so try yoga using a chair!

chair_tree.jpgIn this photo, Mary Waring, a Chair Yoga instructor, is demonstrating Tree Pose using a chair. Tree Pose develops concentration, coordination, balace, and strength.  It strengthens the ankles, knees, hip joints, back, shoulders, and neck! With practice, it will make you feel more steady and grounded, like a tree!

Here are some frquently asked questions about Chair Yoga:

What if I can't do all of the poses?
Chair Yoga is designed to make yoga available to everybody. Your instructor can offer modifications and suggestions, and you will be encouraged to make the most of your abilities. In fact, it is counterproductive to work beyond what feels good to your body. The maximum benefits of yoga are attained when you find the pose that is perfect for you. If there does happen to be a rare pose that you are uncomfortable with, you are always free to just take a break for a moment and relax while you soak up the positive energy of the class or to enjoy a different pose. The better question might be: What if I don't WANT to do a particular pose. Well, don't do it! You should always be in control of your practice.

Will I get a good workout during Chair Yoga?

Absolutely. In fact, you may get a more intense workout than in a regular yoga class because the chair will allow you to comfortably and safely move into a pose more deeply and to hold it a little longer. You are always in control of your practice, so you are able to practice as gently or as intensely as you wish on any given day. You are always encouraged to honor your body! The practice that is perfect for you may vary from day to day depending on how you are feeling on any particular day. Similarly, it may vary over time as you progess and your strength and llexibility increase.

Will I always be sitting?
In a chair yoga class you are sometimes sitting, but sometimes you will invited to stand and to use the chair just for support.

Can I stay sitting?
Absolutely! If you prefer not to stand, the instructor will help you find a seated option. As you get stronger and more flexible, however, you may find that doing a pose standing feels wonderful. Stay in tune with your body to enjoy your progress! You may also find that your practice will vary somewhat each time that you come to class. Some days are more filled with energy than others! To get the freatest benefit from your practice, always honor your body and do the version of the pose that is perfect for you.

Will I need to get up and down off of the floor?
No, never unless you want to!  As you get stronger and more flexible, the instructor may invite you to try some poses on the floor, but there will always be other options.

chair_twist.jpgIn this photo, Mary is demonstrating a spinal twist while seated in a chair. It is true that this pose is fun and beautiful, but, even more important,  it is miraculous for the spine.  It rotates, fully extends and aligns the spine, maintaining flexibility. Twists also remove stiffness fromm the hips, spine, shoulders, and neck. They massage the inner organs and are particularly helpful for digestion. As an added beneift, they can help to slim the hips, thighs, and waistline! Who wouldn't want that?

What should I wear?
No
special clothes are required. You can wear anything that allows you to move freely. Do not wear something that is so loose and baggy that the instructor cannot see the lines of your body to know if you are doing the poses correctly. Other than that, just dress for confort. 

Can I wear shoes?
Yes, of course. You can choose to wear shoes or to practice barefoot if you like to wiggle your toes on the floor!
chair_warrior1.jpgIn this photo, Mary is demonstrating Warrior 1, a powerful lunge, using a chair. Warrior 1 develops concentration, coordination, balance, and strength. It will help you to feel steady and grounded.  It stretches and strengthens the inner thigh muscles, and it especially strengthens the muscles in the legs and the central core of the body. It brings resiliency to the spine and helps to properly align the bones and muscles of the hips. It improves circulation and breathing. Plus, it trims and tones the hips, abdomen, buttocks, thighs and arms.  What an amazing pose!
Do I need to bring anything?
No, just a smile! We have everything that you will need.

Every time you judge yourself you break your own heart.
- Swami Kripalu