“Bodies in motion stay in motion” is a law of physics. If, as you grow older due to illness, injury or lack of movement, you can not easily walk or get up or down on the ground, you can still exercise and do yoga, even seated in a chair.
This is true for seniors or anyone. If you feel like you are not as healthy, strong, flexible or at peace as you once were or hope to be, yoga can be a tool to get you back on track to wellness. You can start right where you are, even in a chair (or wheelchair).
If you are dealing with or healing from an injury or illness, have pre- or post-surgery related issues or other limitations (including working all day at your desk), you can, with some modifications of the yoga postures as you may know them, do yoga right where you are. You can always “do” yoga.
“If you can breathe you can do yoga,” said the yoga master Krishnamacharya.
Chair Yoga uses a chair for support while sitting or standing, allowing you to do yoga at your desk, at work, on an airplane, or in a wheelchair, making it accessible anywhere and anytime. It’s suitable for seniors, people with injuries or limited mobility, and anyone who just wants to learn a gentle way to practice yoga. You can increase your energy and strength. Improve your concentration, flexibility, balance and sense of peace just as you do when practicing other styles and forms of yoga. With a little innovation you will see that yoga truly is for everyone! Let’s try it and see from experience.
Traditionally, a hatha yoga practice (yoga postures, yogic breathing and relaxation) involves a warm up called the “Sun Salutation.” It is a series of postures, moving the body in sync with the breath, to honor the rise and setting of the sun or the beginning and ending of the day. It also creates heat in the body, just as the sun creates heat for the Earth. Here is a short video of a Chair Yoga sun salute you can try or observe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4bxA51_YcI). It takes less than a minute for one round. It improves your flexibility, increases circulation and eases back, hip and mental tension. Repeat two to eight times and enjoy or share with your parent or grandparent. Doing yoga with others can encourage each other to keep a consistent practice.
Start yoga where you are, right now. There’s no need to wait until you have energy or are pain free. Simple and gentle Chair Yoga can be done anywhere and anytime and even in short increments. Increase your peace of mind and vitality with some simple Chair Yoga practices, at home or work.