How to Challenge Your Balance and Focus While Using A Chair in Your Yoga Practice
You can get so much benefit from practicing yoga fully seated throughout your practice. Individualize the practice in a way that interests you, without causing suffering.
One of the benefits of yoga is balance, which you can work on in several ways through the postures shown here. Another benefit of yoga is focus, or dharana in Sanskrit. I'll talk you through both in this short, sensible, fully seated yoga asana practice.
This is NOT medical advice! Every body is different, so please honor yours.
Our bodies change throughout our lives. Your ability may be part of your identity, but it doesn't define you. My practice adapts to where I'm at on my wellness journey day to day. When I was recently knocked down by Covid, I was most grateful for my pranayama (breathing) practice. I could really feel how the virus impacted my lungs.
You can continue to practice yoga throughout your lifetime. Chair yoga may be the most accessible to you right now, and it isn't better or worse than floor-based, standing, or bed-based yoga. Check in with yourself in this moment. What do you need? If you customize your practice to your unique needs, you will enjoy it more and be more motivated to continue.
We Will Cover the Vestibular Sense, Proprioception, and Range of Motion
- Changing your head position in space supports your vestibular system in your inner ear, which impacts your ability to balance. The vestibular sense changes throughout your lifetime.
- Paying attention during a slow movement practice builds proprioception, or awareness of where your body is in space.
- Rooting down into the earth with your lower body can help you feel more grounded, while feeling more free in your upper body.
- To optimally challenge your joints, explore your physiological range of motion rather than anatomical range of motion. Range of motion of a joint can be passive or active.
We'll cover the following nature-inspired balancing poses:
- Warmup with 'sunrises': wide supported squats with arm movements
- Chair pose
- Balancing bird
- Tree pose
- Eagle pose
- Crow pose
...all in a chair!
If you know someone who thinks they can't do yoga because they can't get up and down from the floor, send them this video. Watch the embedded video in this blog post or go to YouTube to see it.
Want to feel more grounded and focused? I’ll empower you to nurture yourself with gentle, inclusive yoga & mindfulness, so you can build resilience to anxiety and cultivate joy. You'll learn therapeutic yoga practices you can apply to your stressful life so you can relax.
If you breathe, you belong here.
Kate Lynch (she/her): Parent of an amazing atypical kid, inclusive yoga teacher, mindful parent mentor, and author. Kate began teaching yoga and cultivating community in 2002. Her classes are welcoming, friendly and intuitive, and reflect her core values: empathy, integrity, equity and respect.
As we do this empowering work together, we will embody self-compassion, bringing our families and communities together in deeper truth and healing.
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