What is this thing called Chair Yoga?

December 7, 2012 2:57 am Published by

This is an article I wrote for the Our Town Colonie magazine earlier in 2012 titled: What is this thing called Chair Yoga?

Yoga has become very popular in recent years, but has been around for thousands of years.  Yoga has gained such mainstream recognition because it is… very flexible!  This means there is a type of yoga for everyone.  When people think of yoga, they often think of yogis who can bend and twist themselves into amazing positions.  Sure this is yoga, but regardless of your physical condition, level of flexibility, age, or other limitations, there is a yoga that can offer you wonderful benefits for your body, mind, and spirit.

If you don’t see yourself using your legs as a necktie you may still reap the benefits of a regular practice by attending a Chair Yoga class.  Chair Yoga is a modification of traditional Hatha Yoga (the yoga of physical processes and movement) which uses a chair to support and align the body.  In this way, if you have difficulties with flexibility or balance, you have support.  If you are fit and flexible, the chair can be used as a wonderful prop to aid you in surrendering and properly aligning the body.  You explore to YOUR level of comfort, working to your ability with no competition.  The most important aspect of participation is listening when your body gives you feedback and breathing deeply.  If you can do that, you will enjoy Chair Yoga!

In Chair Yoga, movements are made with intension and focus on the breath to stretch and strengthen the body.  These movements called poses or “asanas” promote emotional release (especially tension), and stimulate proper function of organs and glands throughout the body.  A regular yoga practice provides:

  • stress and pain relief;
  • increases strength; and
  • improves coordination, balance, flexibility, mobility, body alignment and posture, breathing, circulation.

Explore the possibility that chair yoga may be just the “thing” for you!

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