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Comfort Keepers provides award-winning in-home care for seniors and other adults in need of assistance with daily activities. Our highly trained and dedicated caregivers can help your loved one stay in their home for as long as safely possible—a dream come true for many elders.

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Part of the work Comfort Keepers Peterborough does in this community is to connect seniors and their families with the resources they need to live happy, healthy and well-supported lives.

Chair Yoga For Seniors: Making Yoga Safe And Accessible To People Of All Ages And Abilities

Blog  |  November 19, 2021

Yoga For Seniors Is Gaining In Popularity.

Originating in ancient India, yoga made its way here to North America around the turn of the 20th century and became popularized in the 1950s. Since then, yoga has become a beloved physical and spiritual health and wellness modality here in the north. From school-aged children to senior adults, people of all ages enjoy yoga classes as part of their daily lives. In fact, there are yoga for seniors classes available at most studios nowadays and we think that’s great!

Yoga Offers Physical And Emotional Benefits To Seniors 

Yoga is a wonderful wellness practice for people of all ages. As a form of gentle exercise, yoga is particularly beneficial to seniors

  • Yoga helps to build strength and stamina, to increase flexibility and range of motion and to loosen and stretch stiff or painful muscles and joints. 
  • Participating in a yoga class also provides seniors with a chance to connect with friends and peers. 
  • It is relaxing, reduces stress and promotes an active mind-body connection.  
  • Yoga is mentally stimulating and helps to boost cognitive function. 
  • Seniors who practice yoga regularly enjoy better and more refreshing sleep. 

Because yoga can be modified and adapted to suit anyone’s physical abilities, it is accessible to most seniors. One of the most useful adaptations is chair yoga. 

Seniors sitting in chairs in various yoga poses

What Is Chair Yoga?

Chair yoga is exactly what it sounds like! Doing yoga from a seated position in a chair. Changing the practice in this way makes it accessible to older adults who are unsteady on their feet, who are using a wheelchair or walker and to those who have limited mobility or range of motion. The stability provided by the chair makes yoga a safe and enjoyable experience for people who may otherwise not have been able to participate. 

Woman smiling with quote that says "I love the joy that yoga brings to all ages"
Lorrie has been a certified yoga instructor for about 5 years. She worked at the YMCA in Virginia where they had a Silver Sneakers program for seniors and people with disabilities. During her time at the YMCA, Lorrie taught some yoga classes as well as some chair aerobics classes. Lorrie has been a caregiver with Comfort Keepers Peterborough since August 2020 and in January 2021, she moved into the position of Scheduler.

Tips For Safely Practicing Chair Yoga At Home 

Chair yoga is often practiced in a class setting at a studio or in a senior living residence. That being said, it can also be practiced in the comfort of home. Depending on a senior’s physical fitness, mobility and stability, he or she may want to practice with a family member or caregiver present to lend a hand if needed.

Whether your senior loved one is enjoying chair yoga independently or with a helping hand, here are some other safety considerations for a home chair yoga practice.  

  • Choose a sturdy four-legged chair that can support your weight and can handle gentle movement in all directions. 
  • Practice chair yoga several feet away from any coffee tables or other furniture with sharp or blunt corners. This will help you to avoid injury if you fall or trip getting in or out of the chair. 
  • Make sure to clear the floor space around your chair to reduce the risk of trips and falls. 
  • If you are enjoying your yoga practice on a hardwood or vinyl floor, consider setting the chair on top of a yoga mat to prevent the chair from sliding. 

As with any new exercise routine, starting slow and building your practice over time is always a good idea. When in doubt, consult your healthcare provider. 

Chair Yoga Makes Yoga For Seniors Accessible And Safe. 

Yoga is a great option for a senior looking to try something new and stay active. It is gentle, easily modified and can be done independently or in a group setting. Chair yoga is one example of an adapted yoga practice.  The modified poses you will find in a chair yoga class offer all of the same physical and mental benefits as traditional yoga without requiring a senior to overextend themselves or risk an injury or a fall. Because it makes the practice comfortable and accessible,  it is a popular variety of yoga for seniors. To learn more about chair yoga for seniors in Peterborough, contact Comfort Keepers Peterborough today.

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