Chair Yoga was first developed in the 1980s by Erika Hammerström. Central to the practice of chair yoga are asana, adapted & suited to the postural assistance of a chair. This is extremely beneficial to those who would like to improve their health or wellbeing but find they are unable to due to age, restricted movement or perhaps even chronic illnesses:
- Modified postures & gentle movements stimulate the feet, legs, arms & hands, digestion, back, neck region & even the brain
- These asana can be practiced by almost anyone & requires no special conditions, can even be implemented towards everyday situations
- Particularly useful whilst rehabilitation takes place after injury & for those with physical disabilities.
Even though the approach is fairly simple & the method of doing asana straightforward, the effects of such should not be underestimated.
Benefits of Chair Yoga
Those with restricted mobility need not give up yoga but instead due to such gentle movements, take control of their own health:
- Increased ability, mobility & range of movement; additionally reduces aches & pains
- Improved circulation / respiration & by delivering more oxygen to cells, heightened brain functions
- Practices can be done whilst travelling on the bus, airplane & train or even during a break at work / office
- After sustained practice profound benefits similar to Hatha Yoga will be experienced.
As we age or if we incur chronic illnesses, changes to lifestyle can lead to loneliness or isolation & perhaps eventually a decline in mental health. Learning chair yoga in a group can be fun, inspires us to attend classes regularly & encourages us to meet new people.
Our chair yoga classes at tattwavisionyoga incorporate modified asana alongside many of the traditional Pawanmuktasana Series (as taught by Swami Satyananda Saraswati). Breath work (pranayama) is given parity as well as deep relaxation (yoga nidra) & meditation.
“Change the personality through the process of yoga; root out defilements & observe oneself honestly. Be sincere, serious & committed to integrate Yoga into your lifestyle.” – Swami Niranjanananda