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Benefits of Chair Yoga

Updated on July 11, 2014

Hypnotic Benefits of Chair Yoga for Dealing with Stress

Chair Yoga, yeah right! Next you'll be telling me that dancing to I'm a little tea pot will heal all scars and mental wounds.

Not all seriousness though, chair yoga really is as simple as those movements you'd do in a little kids dance. Not the hokey-cokey, superman or the likes, but gentle zen movements that have a high impact on your health.

Chair yoga can be the key that unlocks the door to a stress free lifestyle.

In fact, there's one master technique that will all but guarantee your chair yoga exercises will be done with ease, targeted precision and ultimate focus.

Taking you away from the mother lode of stress you may have - to experience the tranquilities that this simple yoga practice offers.

I'll share with you what that technique is later.

For now, you're in for a royal treat here as you're about to discover how the simplicity of chair yoga exercise can make your doctors jaw drop the next time you drop in to have your blood sugars checked, or just for a general check.

Just don't make an appointment to gloat

The reason's quite simple, and why there's not more people doing this, or clinicians advising it is a mystery.

Of all the exercising activities there are you could be doing, chair yoga has the most miniscule risk of straining a muscle.

The benefits of chair yoga on the other hand, with only 45 minutes a session, although you'll enjoy it that much, you'll likely extend that to an hour, they work every muscle of the body and leave you feeling revitalised.

Why Chair Yoga is Astronomically Effective

Because it’s therapeutic.

It’s a form of relaxation, yet at the same time it’s physical exercise that rejuvenates the body inside and out.

Tension in the muscles are relieved, without the need for a stone therapy massage, and that’s your entire body you’ll experience the tension relief.

Suffer from migraines?

It might even help with that too.

It isn’t any single targeted muscle exercise. The muscles you don’t even think about exercising such as your toes, and fingers are still being worked on too.

The methods used in professional chair yoga classes are designed to target the entire body in a single session.

Yet you still walk away feeling freshly rejuvenated, bottle of spring water, spring in your step, whistling as you take the brisk walk to the car, bus stop, or maybe even feel that much better that you decide to take a casual stroll home instead.

That is if you go to a class, as you can just as easily do this at home.

  • Chair yoga motives you
  • It inspires you to do more
  • And most importantly - It elevates your spirits!

That’s fundamental when anything is getting you down because it helps you get over the hurdles of despair, anxiety and stress.

It’s one of the most high impact workouts you can do in terms of the results you get, and it isn’t through high-impact training.

The workouts themselves are extremely low impact, designed to be manageable by people of all ages, regardless of current health conditions.

Quick Question

Is circulation preventing you from getting around?

See results

If you answered yes to the above, then I think these Chair Yoga guides will benefit you

A Chair for Yoga: A complete guide to Iyengar Yoga practice with a chair
A Chair for Yoga: A complete guide to Iyengar Yoga practice with a chair

The author "Eyal Shifroni" has over 25 years experience teaching workshops in Israel. This guide brings those teachings to a global audience. Well worth checking out!

Chair Yoga
Chair Yoga

A complete guide on DVD letting anyone at all fitness levels experience the benefits of chair yoga practice. Reviews are definitely a superb read as you can see the impact on peoples health. Some as early as within 4 weeks.

Carly Porrello's Regeneration: Chair Yoga
Carly Porrello's Regeneration: Chair Yoga

This one I don't think is for everyone. Carla (Instructor on the DVD) uses light weights in addition to the chair yoga exercises. Perhaps for post-pregnancy workouts, this may be a better option, as the resistance addition to the poses increases metabolism and calorie burning

Image Courtesy:
Image Courtesy:

Improve Your Blood Flow, Increase Mobility

As the motions in chair yoga workouts involve engaging your entire body using slow and low impact motions, it only takes a short time before your blood circulation will start to flow more freely.

Any cardiovascular exercise will do that, but none as simple as chair yoga stretches can do it without pushing you through fitness barriers.

Up until now, you’ve probably only ever thought of your chair as comfortable.

If you were told to use your chair for exercising, you’d likely be wondering where you would be moving your furniture too, thinking the exercise comes from lumbering hefty furniture around.

Chairs, for years have been the luxurious item of comfort.

Come in from work, kick back, maybe pop up the recliner and lie back… all the while inviting all sorts of illnesses into your life without even knowing it.

Poor circulation, nutrition, and a collaboration of poor lifestyle choices is often the cause of diabetes.

When that’s diagnosed, it’s the end of life as you once knew it, as it becomes all about what you can and can’t eat. No sugar in the tea or coffee, (shouldn’t be ruining the coffee anyway) and it’s a switch to sweeteners.

That’s where chair yoga extends its many benefits. It equips diabetics with a low intensity workout routine that can be done at home, with nothing more than a chair.

Using that one chair, the exercises can work all muscles including the smaller areas of fingers, toes, hands, and wrists.

No part of the body escapes the wrath of the workout.

It’s that whole body approach that stimulates the immune system.

For those with diabetes, it’s that control element that moderates sugar levels, and sustains the levels within the tolerance zones.

Chair Yoga Video - Sample of Simplicity of Chair Yoga in Practice

This video comes courtesy of James Knight and Sherry Zak Morris, demonstrating some simple moves that have a major impact on mobility.


Did you take some time to try the Exercises in the video

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What Happened?

What's your experience with chair yoga now?

Image Courtesy:
Image Courtesy:

Hula the Toxins Away

Twist and shout - That song brings back memories.

If you thought the exercises were going to be boring stretches, sitting down for three quarters of an hour getting nothing more than a couple of numb butt cheeks for your efforts, pay attention to this next part.

Every twist of the hip and bend at the waist causes your stomach to contract. That assists the digestive system and gives your lower back gentle stimuli.

For those with back pain, you could soon be putting the prescription painkillers away.

Let’s talk cardio

This is an area with a high element of confusion so let’s just set the record straight so you know what you are and are not going to be doing with chair yoga exercises.

Cardiovascular exercise is simply any form of exercise that increases respiration and circulation. It causes the heart and the lungs to pump oxygen around the body faster.

Any exercise that does that is aerobic

Image Courtesy:
Image Courtesy:

Where in the Heck did Society Lose Exercise?

Around last century there was a generation of people with a lot less health problems that our society has today.

People didn’t have motor vehicles to get them to work.

If they needed to travel a distance, they’d do this thing called walking. (Imagine that) They had to use both feet to drag their bodies to the bus stop, and then climb a step or two to board the bus.

These were buses that didn’t have lowering levels to prevent people from taking a step up to board the bus.

They would have to carry their shopping from the grocery store to their homes.

If they wanted potatoes, they’d have to wash them, peel them, and then cook them on the boil. They didn’t have steamers with timers with three tiers to cook potatoes, chicken fillets and vegetables using preset cooking time technology.

They’d make stock pots of delicious potato and leek soup. Cook up pots of mince, and serve it with potatoes and vegetables.

Leftovers from dinners during the week would be bagged, sealed, and stewed in a hot pot for Sunday lunch in some family homes.

The vegetables weren't even bought sometimes.

This was a generation of people with magnificent skills. They could even grow their own vegetables right in their back yard.

Do you know what they called it?


Every single thing they did, from the walking, to boarding a bus, the cooking, standing peeling potatoes over a kitchen sink, to gardening was all aerobic exercise.

The more they did, the more oxygen circulated around their bodies and it kept them in peak shape.

This Generation Apparently Needs Technology to Exercise

Today’s generation is technology driven. A simple task like walking apparently requires a treadmill with an incline feature to simulate uphill walking, or cross country trekking.

Cycling is done in a garage, spare room or a gym on a static bike.

Rowing is done on a static rower sitting on the floor with no interaction with nature, or experiencing the sound of the water running downstream, unless it’s played on an MP3 audio or the likes.

From that past generation to now, simple exercise that used to be a part of life has been lost and taken over with technology.

Walking and gardening have now become aerobic exercise. Both activities do give you that as you are moving around, but that is what aerobic is.

  • It’s an activity.
  • Not a chore.
  • It’s supposed to be fun.
  • It’s supposed to be natural.
  • It is not supposed to be leave you in pain.

You can burn over a couple of hundred calories in an hour just by being active. Being active is aerobic. Lifting weights is anaerobic and does little in the way of functional fitness.

The people that got that wrong in the no pain – no gain hype days, are probably still nursing their wounds after taking their exercises to the extreme.

Imaeg Courtesy:
Imaeg Courtesy:

Chair Yoga is Aerobic Exercise Anyone Can Do

Chair yoga gives you the natural aerobic exercise that defines functional fitness. It helps your lungs function better, your heart healthier, and your blood circulation regulated.

It’s a gentle yet a powerfully effective form of exercise that can help you improve your strength, burn significant calories in the process, and help you de-stress from all of life’s woes.

All with just the one chair. Like most things in life, the simplest things are often the best.

Give chair yoga exercises a try and you’ll soon realise just how simple they are.

Remember how I told you earlier about the one master technique that all but guarantees you better health?

That master technique is called Iyengar Yoga, named after its creator, B. K. S. Iyengar. It's a form of Hatha Yoga that uses over 200 different poses, ranging from basic to advanced body alignment positions.

This can be done with just a chair for yoga

Chair Yoga for You - The Practical Guide to Getting Started

Below you'll find a couple of resources. The first is a practical guide for seniors, while the second is more of a universal guide to chair yoga, complete with over 80 demonstrations and instructions so you can put the exercises to use right away.

Chair Yoga For Seniors: A Gentle Sequence to Get You Started
Chair Yoga For Seniors: A Gentle Sequence to Get You Started

This practical guide gives the gentle chair yoga movements ideal for seniors to get started

Chair Yoga for You: A Practical Guide
Chair Yoga for You: A Practical Guide

Another practical guide, covering over 80 chair yoga poses for anyone to get started.


A Chair Yoga Adaptation for Unknotting Muscles Between Your Shoulder

Thanks to a couple of dogs being on the bed, I arose with an aching pain between the shoulder blades. Probably thanks to the pressure of four paws. Gets onto the computer to get to work, pulls up some chair yoga exercises and here's the one's I tried.

1) The seated mountain pose, with the Ujjayi breathing technique.

2) The Seated Spinal Twist

3) The neck and shoulder roll

Just for around five minutes and it did somewhat a good job but not completely unknotted. Still had a small bit of tightness between the shoulder blades and since I'm going to be sitting at the desk most of the day, can't have that.

A bit more digging and the following video comes up on the screen. I'm sharing it here because despite the guy standing up to do this, I done it sitting down and you will still feel it working each muscle in your upper body. The amounts of cracks I heard surprised me. I thought it was just between the shoulder blades that was needing unknotted, but hearing cracks in the shoulders, elbows and wrists, I guess it's loosening up more muscles than I first thought.

Give it a try and share below how you get on...

Unknot Muscles Between Your Shoulder Blades

I done this sitting down, and it worked a treat

How did you get on?

Did your joints click when you tried the above exercise

See results
Yoga Practice for Scoliosis
Yoga Practice for Scoliosis

Yoga for Scoliosis Pain Relief

Certain yoga poses can work tremendously well for the pain relief aspect associated with a spinal curvature. You're maybe furling your eyebrows as you read this but you certainly don't need to get into acrobatic positions, as there's plenty of gentle stretching yoga exercises you can use for effective pain management.

The last thing you want to do is strain your spine even more, so naturally, you should take it easy and get advice before getting your body into any unusual postures.

As with any exercise that causes pain, STOP!

Pain is your bodies way of telling you to stop what you're doing. It's not natural, and it's why I think one of the best scoliosis pain management methods would be to use different yoga poses, adapted to be done from a chair.

It makes them easier on your muscles.

Instead of balancing on the one leg, supporting your upper body -

  • you're sitting
  • stretching your armsout in front of you
  • Moving them into a sidewards stretch
  • Then pulling them back together in front of your body

When you're doing that type of stretching, you're working your shoulder muscles.

Strengthening the shoulder muscles, can be beneficial for scoliosis pain management.

Want to know another 3 yoga poses that could help?

  1. Crocodile twist
  2. Supine knee chest twist
  3. Passive back arch

All three of the above yoga poses are forms of Hatha Yoga, and each, like many others, can be adapted for chair yoga instead.

Take the crocodile twist for example. Adapt that to be a seated twist and you get much the same benefits. It lets you get some stretching exercising done as you're sitting around.

With the help somecarefully sequenced yoga poses, respecting the asymmetry of scoliosis helps to relieve pain. It can reduce a spinal curvature up to a point, but it will also improve overall body posture.

Master the Yoga Practices from Some Trusted Experts in Using Yoga for Scoliosis

Yoga for Scoliosis
Yoga for Scoliosis

Presented in DVD format by Elise Browning Miller breaks down the yoga poses into three segments of just 17 minutes. Ideal for beginners, or go through the three at once. The use of a chair and the wall are only used a couple of times, with straps being used more for leg stretches, helping to align the spine

Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction
Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction

The video review of the Health in Your Hands DVD is well worth watching. A comprehensive guide on spinal correction, leading to reduced pain, less stiffness in the joints and spinal alignment.


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