Does Chair Yoga for Mobility Actually Work?
As we age, the body’s functions slow, causing new health conditions that could affect mobility. These include joint problems, muscle weakness, and pain. Diseases like muscular dystrophy, arthritis, or neurological conditions, also affect how you move, limiting your activities. To combat such restrictions, many individuals try yoga, including chair yoga for mobility.
Chair yoga has several benefits for those who may not be able to maintain the poses of regular yoga. It strengthens the body and improves flexibility while calming the mind. A trained instructor will teach you the correct techniques for safe stretching, twisting, and breathing for the best results.
If you’re interested in learning more about the advantages of chair yoga, keep reading.
How Can Chair Yoga Help with Mobility?
Chair yoga is a program that allows individuals to perform various yoga poses while seated. Those poses have been adapted to offer many of the same benefits to improve mobility.
- Increased strength – A lack of mobility can affect muscle strength and tone, which can be tough to regain without the proper activities. To help rebuild muscle strength caused by mobility issues, low-impact workouts are best. Chair yoga allows you to move your body to increase strength and recover functions you thought were lost.
- Reduced pain – Many diseases and conditions cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, which worsens with inactivity. Though there are days when the pain seems unbearable, physical activity actually reduces chronic pain. Chair yoga improves strength and flexibility, protecting those weak bones and joints for less pain in the future.
- Chronic condition management – Certain chronic conditions reduce mobility, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and muscular dystrophy. Luckily, physical activity can improve these conditions for reduced symptoms and better mobility. Chair yoga improves mobility, flexibility, heart rate, and blood pressure, making it a vital part of any routine.
- Improved balance – As we age, falls become much more common. In fact, it is one of the main causes of injury in elderly individuals with mobility issues. Studies have shown that participating in a safe chair yoga program improves balance for fewer fall risks. Improved balance also raises confidence levels in seniors by reducing the fear of falling.
Is this yoga as good as regular yoga?
Chair yoga has many of the same benefits as regular yoga, including those for mobility, though it does have some limitations. Some traditional poses of yoga aren’t adaptable for chair yoga, reducing the number of poses you can do.
Luckily, several poses can be altered to ensure seated individuals have an array to choose from. These include the forward fold, cat and cow, pigeon, downward dog, mountain, and warrior one.
Like regular yoga, you’ll need to learn your limitations to ensure you’re comfortable with the poses you’re trying. You may feel discomfort or pain at first, so don’t push too hard at the beginning.
Over time, your balance, flexibility, and strength will improve, allowing you to modify your poses. As you regain mobility, you may even be able to incorporate more moves, including simple standing poses, into your routine.
This article is for educational and informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions about your own health condition, speak to a qualified physician or healthcare provider.