What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice originating from India over 5000 years ago. Yoga unites mental disciplines with the physical, allowing for the relaxation of stress and anxiety. There are several proven benefits of practicing yoga.
Yoga is often suggested as an alternative treatment option for individuals with chronic pain conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, or arthritis. Traditional yoga may not be accessible to those experiencing these conditions due to the prerequisite of a certain amount of strength, balance and flexibility.
What is chair yoga?
Chair yoga is a type of yoga developed for those who are unable to practice floor yoga on a mat. This type of yoga is typically used for individuals with chronic pain or mobility issues, although it can be practiced by anyone. When practicing chair yoga, the same or similar poses are done as with standard yoga. The chair is used for sitting or bracing oneself. This helps the practice of yoga adapt to the individual. Whether a person is on the floor or using a chair for balance, the practice remains the same, focusing on breathing and mindfulness while gently stretching the body.
Benefits of chair yoga
Chair yoga is a good way for beginners to strengthen their core prior to moving to typical yoga poses. It also reaps the same health benefits as standard yoga, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Improved balance, strength and flexibility
- Reduced back pain
- Lowered pain symptoms
- Increased heart health
- Enhanced sleep
- Heightened energy levels
- Diminished stress and increased relaxation
- Boosted self-care
Additional source: Integral Yoga Magazine