Yoga from Your Wheelchair
Disabilities can make it difficult to maintain an active lifestyle, but limited mobility doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up your exercise routine. A weekly workout schedule can help you to boost your physical, mental and spiritual health.
Chair yoga is one of the best ways for individuals with a disability to stay active without overexerting themselves. Most positions are easy to modify and adapt to suit your unique physical limitations without causing pain or discomfort. Chair yoga offers a holistic approach to exercise that works on training your mind, your body and your breathing to improve every facet of your well-being.
Build Strength and Flexibility
If you are living with a disability, a chair yoga routine can help you to better meet the physical challenges that you encounter each day. You can squeeze in a workout anytime, anywhere, whether you’re sitting at home or traveling to work, and you don’t have to rely on expensive or inaccessible equipment.
Engaging in chair yoga on a regular basis can help you to improve the strength and stamina of your muscles, making day-to-day activities a little bit easier. Chair yoga also helps to lubricate joints, tendons, and ligaments, which can improve your flexibility.
Reduce Stress Levels
Yoga is meant to help you connect with your inner self, allowing you to improve your mental clarity and enhancing your resilience to stress hormones. Regular exercise can also improve your sleep cycle, boosting both your energy levels and concentration.
Breathing exercises involved in chair yoga are designed to help you to relax and improve your focus. Yogic breathing can also reduce your risk of developing mental health issues that are common amongst America’s disabled population, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Endorphins released during exercise can help to boost your mood on a day to day basis. These same hormones also relieve some of the chronic pain that often accompanies a disability. Chair yoga has been shown to improve mental health and relieve pain more effectively than other similar spiritual practices such as Reiki.
Chair yoga is also a fantastic opportunity to get together with others and learn calming relaxation techniques in a supportive, yet fun atmosphere. People who attend chair yoga classes may be able-bodied seniors, those with special needs, or any disability or injury that makes it difficult to use a floor mat. As with all yoga classes, chair yoga sessions are non-competitive and everyone is encouraged to practice at their own pace, in the company of non-judgmental and likeminded individuals.
Boost Your Confidence
Keeping active can help to increase the self-esteem of disabled individuals by improving energy, mood, and physical capacity. Taking chair yoga classes can also broaden your social horizons, introducing you to new friends and new experiences. Through your chair yoga routine, you can work to build your confidence and boost your self-esteem as you work to improve your mind and body.
Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch and Strengthen Yourself to a Happier, Healthier You contains over one hundred yoga poses and exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere and even in a wheelchair!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!