In today’s post, you will find my recommendation for the best chair yoga DVD for seniors and we will talk a bit about why yoga is so great for the aging body.
While many older folks probably didn’t hear about yoga when growing up, I’m sure you have in recent years heard about how beneficial it’s for improving mobility and reducing stress.
Yoga first became popular in the US all the way back in the 1930s and it had another wave of popularity in the 1960s when it was associated more with the spiritual side of yoga instead of the exercise.
But in the 1980s Yoga really became mainstream, at least in the big cities of the US when it was marketed as an alternative form of exercise for aerobic for example.
So the chances are you have heard about yoga, but you might not know if it’s exactly as effective as claimed. And more importantly, if it’s suitable for seniors.
Let’s find out!
What Is Yoga
You might be aware that yoga involves twisting yourself into funny poses and stretches and it has something to do with breathing and relaxing as well.
But you might not know that Yoga is not actually a form of exercise originally. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices and sometimes it’s considered a religion.
Yoga is not a single doctrine. Instead, there are different styles of Yoga with different goals and traditions. All styles of yoga originate from ancient India and some forms are associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
So while Yoga has spiritual or even religious background, in the western world yoga has been mostly used as a form of exercise that helps you relax and focus your mind and rejuvenate your body.
Poses or asanas are a key principle in yoga, as is breathwork. Most forms of yoga that are taught in the western world focus on stretching and controlling muscles and being mindful of your breathing.
This combination is very effective in bringing you into the moment, out of your head and worries. This is a form of mindfulness and it’s been proven to reduce stress levels significantly.
Stretching and controlled deep breathing are both very effective ways of reducing stress levels and reducing blood pressure for example.
Some forms of yoga are very physically demanding, so much so that they can be considered a form of strength training.
But these schools of yoga are generally not suitable for beginners or seniors since they require advanced body control. But fortunately, there are gentler forms of yoga that still give you most of the benefits.
What Is Chair Yoga
Chair Yoga is a form of yoga that is performed sitting down on a chair. This makes it a lot easier if you have any kind of disabilities, or simply don’t feel comfortable getting in an awkward position on the floor.
Here’s a good example and a free exercise routine by Cara Kircher:
Chair yoga is also great for seniors that are very frail as well as significantly overweight people who can’t support their weight adequately in regular yoga poses.
While many classic yoga poses can’t be performed while seated in a chair, it’s still possible to do a lot of movements that offer the same health benefits.
Chair yoga also allows you to perform standing poses where you use the chair as a support if you have balance issues.
Another great thing about chair yoga is that it can be performed safely at home even if you have issues with balance and strength.
So, chair yoga is a great form of home exercise for seniors that can be performed alone or in a group with the lead of an instructional DVD.
How Yoga Is Beneficial
So is yoga actually beneficial? Yes! There is a lot of scientific evidence that suggests yoga is very beneficial for your health. The beneficial effects include:
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- May reduce inflammation
- May Improve heart health
- Improves quality of life
- May fight depression
- May reduce chronic pain
- May improve sleep quality
- Improves flexibility and balance
- May improve breathing
- May relieve migraines
- May improve strength
There are probably more but those are some of the major benefits that have been studied that I could find
When you consider that yoga is a form of exercise that reduces stress and improves both mobility and balance, it’s obvious that it’s beneficial to most seniors.
Yoga can also improve strength levels, so if you do not enjoy performing actual strength training, yoga can help you reap some of the benefits.
You just have to realize that chair yoga is not going to replace your strength training routine but it’s definitely better than nothing. In my opinion, yoga should be considered a gentle and recuperative form of exercise
If you want to keep healthy and mobile to your old age, improving and maintaining full-body strength, balance and mobility is the key. It allows you to remain independent and improves your quality of life.
The Best Chair Yoga DVD
If you are looking for the best instructional chair yoga DVD that’s suitable for seniors, my recommendation is the Yoga Vitality chair yoga video (affiliate link, I earn a small commission with no extra cost to you if you buy through it. It helps me keep the site running, so thanks!). It’s available as a DVD and as an Amazon Prime Video.
The Yoga Vitaly video course introduces a unique anatomy-based approach to yoga that’s designed for healthy aging. In their own words, it’s a part workout, part physical therapy session, and part relaxing retreat.
The program is designed for seniors, older people, and beginners so people of any fitness level can use it successfully.
The DVD comes with free streaming access to the workouts as well so you can use it on the go with your phone for example.
This is a great gift idea if you are looking to help a seniors relative or friend to get more exercise.
The course has a 4.7. out of 5.0-star rating in Amazon with 140 reviews, so it’s definitely a high-quality course that people have liked and found useful.
I hope you found this post about chair yoga useful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.
As you learned, chair yoga can be a great form of exercise for seniors as it’s very safe yet offers the benefits of yoga-like improved mobility, balance, and strength.
If you are able and interested, I recommend you also do a strength training routine a couple of times a week as well because yoga is not optimal for improving strength. This is especially true with chair yoga and leg strength.
That said, yoga is one of the most beneficial activities you can participate in and it’s worth it just for the stress reduction so you definitely have my recommendation!
Thanks for reading and if you found this article useful, feel free to share it on social media to support my work!
See you next time.