Russell Herbert Jack, Southland Yoga Training’s Founder, discusses what chair yoga is and why this type of yoga is excellent for seniors.
Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Training instructor, has dedicated his life’s work to teaching yoga for the best health and wellbeing regardless of age. One of his central teaching points is consistent practice at any age; for seniors, chair yoga is the answer.
Chair yoga is a type of yoga that is easy on joints. It holds many benefits for active seniors and individuals bouncing back from an injury. On top of the low impact on joints, chair yoga decreases stress, improves circulation, builds balance and core strength, enhances flexibility, eases pain management, enhances oxygen intake, controls weight, promotes independence and wellbeing, and battles depression and anxiety.
Chair yoga is a form of exercise that is low-impact and low-risk and is a more modified version of yoga that allows yoga positions to be performed and practiced from a chair or seated position. It grants a safer approach to yoga for those at high risk for injury compared to traditional yoga.
“Other benefits seniors can experience from practicing chair yoga regularly include prevention of arthritis, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and a range of different autoimmune conditions,” said Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Training Founder.
The essential equipment needed to do chair yoga includes a stable chair with no arms attached, a surface for the chair that is both flat and leveled, clothing that is flexible and comfortable but not too tight or loose, an area where arms can be completely extended, and the company of a friend or a seasoned yoga instructor.
There are several positions people can try at home with a friend present. The overhead stretch position is a great place to start, which calls for arms to be stretched up and down repeatedly. It assists in improving posture, alleviating breathing struggles, and strengthens core muscles. Another good starter position seniors can try is named seated forward bend. Participants can inhale sitting up straight in the chair and focus on extending the spine before folding forward over their legs. The position calls for participants to stay folded for five or more breaths before lifting the torso back to an upright pose again. Eventually, that pose will lead to laying the torso directly on the thighs.
“Other terrific poses beginners can try include eagle arms, reverse arm hold, simple seated twist, and single-leg stretch,” said Jack.
About Russell Herbert Jack
Russell Herbert Jack of Southland Yoga Training is the center’s founder. He is a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Invercargill, New Zealand. As a devoted practitioner of Vinyasa yoga and Qigong, Russell guides his clients to achieve physical and mental harmony by developing a consistent practice. Russell cares about nature and regularly donates to the protection of endangered species in New Zealand.