OT - Tone-up Tuesday
Stuck at your desk? Are you hurting and unable to do your regular exercise routine? Housebound? Does arthritis make it difficult for you to exercise?
You might be surprised to hear that yoga can be incredibly beneficial for people with mobility issues – including elderly people and those with disabilities. Yoga can be practiced not just from the comfort of your own home, but even from the comfort of your own chair!!
Whether you're in a confined space, such as a cubicle or airplane seat, you have mobility issues, or you're just looking for a few feel-good stretches to melt away tension, seated yoga exercises can be a great addition to your daily routine.
Benefits of Chair Yoga
Yoga has been shown to improve overall health, prevent and (even in some cases) reverse disease when practiced regularly as a lifestyle. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that it can therefore lend its benefits to those with mobility issues. Here are some of them:
1. Improved Strength
This means that elderly people will be better able to continue with hobbies and daily activities independently for many more years to come. If they are unlucky enough to suffer a fall or injury, a strong body will be able to withstand this better and sustain fewer injuries.
2. Improved Flexibility
Chair yoga can help those with mobility issues to undertake activities that they have perhaps been unable to, such as reaching down to tie shoe laces or pick things up.
3. Improved proprioception
Proprioception is the skill of knowing where your body is in space, and coordinating your movements accurately. This is particularly important for elderly people and can prevent falls. For people with disabilities or conditions such as MS, it may mean having greater control over your body and its movements.
4. Reduced stress and improved mental clarity
Chair yoga can lessen the impact of chronic illnesses and pain. For elderly people, it may also help them cope with feelings of isolation, if this is a problem. Being calmer and more relaxed inevitably leads to a greater feeling of happiness and well-being, which everyone can benefit from!
5. Opportunities to meet people and socialize
Joining chair yoga classes for those with mobility issues and the elderly will also give them a venue to socialize and make friends. However, it’s important that you choose an appropriate class so that the instructor will have specific knowledge about what is appropriate for you to do—they’ll be able to suitably adapt the exercises.
6. Improved stress and pain management
Chair yoga (and yoga in general, really) includes breath work, which can help people not only with stress management but also for coping and managing pain. Through meditation and paying attention to your breath, you can help your body and mind to cope with the pain of an illness or condition you may suffer with.
Here are some web sites to get you started. You can google a ton of charts and youtube videos!