So, you want to try yoga. But, the classes might intimidate you. Maybe you’re afraid everyone else might be more advanced. Or you just don’t think you’ll be able to do the poses. Have you considered starting with chair yoga?
According to Arthritis Today, a small but growing number of yoga centers offer chair yoga, which includes relaxation exercises and yoga moves while seated in a chair or wheelchair, and many yoga instructors are able and willing to modify regular poses for people with limited mobility. Classes sometimes include a few standing poses where participants use their chairs as props to help stabilize them as they stretch.
“If done correctly, modified yoga brings the same physical, mental and spiritual health benefits as regular yoga – helping to prevent muscle loss, improve joint stability and diminish pain and stiffness,” says Steffany Haaz, a research associate and certified movement analyst with Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, Baltimore.
At Green Mountain, our fitness program meets participants where they are today. We have a yoga class that exclusively teaches poses from a chair, and other yoga classes welcome you to use a chair if that’s what you need.
In today’s Fitness Friday video, our lovely fitness intern Melissa demonstrates several seated poses. We suggest watching and trying them to see if you like it. And then, if you want more, here are a few videos recommended by Arthritis Today:
Liz Franklin’s Yoga in Chairs (set of three videos, $24.95 each; www.yogainchairs.com)
Sitting Fit, Anytime: Easy and Effective Chair Yoga with Susan Winter Ward ($19.95; www.yogaheart.com)
Carol Dickman’s Seated Yoga ($19.95; www.stretch.com)
E-mail readers, head over to the blog to view the video.