If you’ve always thought that chair yoga meant sitting in a chair for the entire class, think again! Chair yoga is growing in popularity because it gives students the chance to explore asana using a unique and useful prop: the chair.
- THE CHAIR ‘BRINGS THE FLOOR UP’ HIGHER. The chair is the ‘Cadillac’ of yoga props, offering a lot of choice on where to land a hand (chair seat, chair back or chair leg). This allows a student’s body to lift up farther from the floor than a yoga block would, even on its highest level. Why is this important? Read on!
- THE CHAIR ALLOWS GREATER FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT. Because the chair is a taller prop, the body can experience more freedom of movement. Suddenly, there’s a lot more space for the body to extend, twist and expand. This helps to create the mental space to become curious about your personal yoga practice.
- THE CHAIR PROVIDES THE COMFORT TO ‘LINGER LONGER’ IN A POSE. The chair’s support gives the curious student the time to find and refine alignment in poses that might prove challenging without the use of this prop—particularly standing balance poses or inversions. The discoveries found with the chair as an aid to learning will translate when the pose is done again with the chair, or another prop.
- THE CHAIR’S STABILITY BUILDS STRENGH AS IT PROVIDES SAFETY. A student still must use his or her own muscles to hold the poses, using the chair as a prop or not. The chair may simply be used as a ‘safety net’ in case the need arises for support or a convenient balance point. Chair yoga students gain strength and flexibility as they progress in their practice, just as students of any other type of yoga class do.
- THE CHAIR IS A FUN WAY TO EXPERIENCE YOGA. It’s always fun to learn how to use new tools to accomplish your goals. Trying yoga poses using a chair as a key prop can prompt new ways of thinking about how your body can move in a way that promotes greater ease, stronger balance, and more precise alignment. Who doesn’t want that?
So If you’d like to experience a balanced, gentle yoga practice using the chair as a key prop, please join instructors Dianne Ochiltree at Yoga from the Heart for a new series of 60-minute chair yoga classes are being offered on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the perfect time for a midday mind/body refresher.