Chair Yoga is Accessible Yoga
I started teaching Chair Yoga in 2015 at the YMCA in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had always done very physical yoga with Ashtanga as my primary base so I did not get Chair Yoga. I thought (and I am so sorry for this thought), “this will be so easy, doing yoga for a bunch of old people.” I am SO glad that I was wrong. I found Chair Yoga to be WONDERFUL! Chair yoga is accessible yoga for all.
Not only did my body crave the break from a million chaturangas, I found an extreme amount of joy, peace, and comfort in sitting and bending. I felt every joint and ball and socket because I honed in. I did not have to worry about balance and I could really listen to my breath and feel small muscle groups that were sometimes masked by the larger ones.
And the people in my classes were not just old people (again, so sorry!) I had pregnant ladies, people recovering from surgery and injuries. Chair Yoga taught me that yoga could be done in many forms and most importantly, that yoga has the potential to follow us through all stages of life. Isn’t that what we want our practice to be? Yoga that lasts and changes us? Chair Yoga is Accessible Yoga.
Here is a very helpful passage from the book All I Need is This Chair Yoga (paid link) by Wilma Carter. “Sitting and the calmness it brings has much in common with yoga. They both invite pondering, inquisitiveness, thoughtfulness, and insightfulness. Getting down on the floor and standing on your head are not requirements of yoga. What is required is that you have a positive attitude about caring for your physical body and a desire to learn how a strong body can other positive aspects to your life.”
A chair is a great prop. You can sit on it, lean on it, put on foot on it, or lie on your back on the floor and put both feet on it. And you can sit and rest if needed too! Remember, chair yoga is accessible yoga.
Chair Yoga is Accessible Yoga for All
– Have you tried yoga and given up because you could not get down to the floor? (or once you got down you could not get up?)
-Have you had a knee or hip replacement and traditional yoga is now uncomfortable?
-Have you suffered a recent illness and your stamina is not up to par?
-Have you experienced a recent emotional upheaval and need something to get you moving again?
I think we all might fall into these categories at some point in out lives. So, grab a chair and try this chair yoga sequence with me. Let me know how good you feel after!
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