Yoga is a highly suggested form of exercise for seniors, and they can get a lot of benefits from it. Some older adults can’t participate in yoga for a variety of reasons. Balance, in particular, is a common one. Now there are chair yoga exercises you can do at home.
7 Chair Yoga Exercises You Can Do at Home
It’s essential that you start each pose by making sure your butt is firmly in the seat before attempting these exercises.
1. Seated Mountain (Tadasana)
This is a pose that works with your core, fixes your posture, and focuses on your breath.
Take a deep breath and sit straight, extending your spine as far it can comfortably go. As you breathe out, root down into the chair with the lowest part of your tailbone.
Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle with your knees over your ankles. Make sure to have room between your knees.
Take another deep breath, and as you breathe out, roll your shoulders down your back and pull your belly button in toward your spine. Relax your arms at your sides.
You can engage your legs by lifting your toes and pressing firmly into all four corners of your feet.
2. Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)
Start in Seated Mountain and take a deep breath. As you breathe in, lift your arms out to the sides and raise your hands to meet above your head. Lace your fingers together and keep your pointer fingers and thumbs out, so you are pointing to the ceiling.
As you exhale, move your shoulders away from your ears and let your shoulder blades slide down your back. Keep taking deep breaths as you settle into this position, take at least five deep breaths before you release your hands on the exhale.
3. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Start in Seated Mountain and focus on extending your spine and fold yourself over your legs. Start with your hands on your thighs and slide them down your legs as you fold if you need extra support.
Take five or more even breaths in the folded pose. It works your intestines, which helps with digestion, along with expanding your spine and stretching your muscles.
Take a breath as you go back to your original position.
4. Eagle Arms (Garudasana Arms)
Inhale and stretch your arms out to your sides. While exhaling, bring your arms in front of you, swinging your right arm under your left and grabbing your shoulders with the opposite hands. Essentially, you’re hugging yourself.
If you’re more flexible, you can wrap your forearms around each other until your right fingers are in your left palm.
Take a breath and lift your elbows a couple of inches higher. Breath out, and roll your shoulders down, moving them away from your ears.
5. Reverse Arm Hold
Breathe in and stretch both arms out to your sides, palms down. Breath out and roll both shoulders forward until your palms are facing behind you. Bend your elbows and let your hands swing behind your back.
Hold your hands together and pull them away from each other without letting go. Take five slow breaths and then release.
6. Simple Seated Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana)
Start with taking a deep breath, straighten your spine, and raise your arms up and out to your sides. As you breathe out, gently twist to the right with your torso and lower your arms. Your right hand will be on the top of the chair and help with your twisting. Your left will be at your side.
Look over your right shoulder, after five breaths, release from the twist, and do the other side.
Make sure you don’t twist too much and hurt yourself.
7. Single-Leg Stretch (Janu Sirasana)
Sitting up straight, stretch your right leg out, resting your heel on the floor with your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Put your hands on your outstretched leg.
Breathe in and bend over your right leg, sliding down your leg as you go. Stretch as far as you can comfortably and inhale and exhale five times, going a little deeper each time.
Release the pose and repeat the exercise with your left leg.
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