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Level II Safe Chair Routine for Older Adults

Yoga doesn’t have to be practiced on the floor. Consider performing your Yoga routine in a chair. This routine allows you to improve your flexibility, mobility, and balance even while seated.

If any posture doesn’t feel right for you, don’t do it. The National Institute of Aging contains great information to help guide you on what may be safe for you or what you might want to avoid.

This routine is more challenging than a beginner’s routine and should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Pick a Yoga breathing techniques and use it for the entire routine. The instructions and photos here show you how it’s done.

This routine also works in an office environment for any age group.

Seated mountain posture

Here’s how this posture works:

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair with your back extended and your eyes either open or closed.

  2. Hang your arms at your sides and visualize a vertical line down the middle of your ears, shoulders, hips, and the backs of your hands; stay for eight to ten breaths.

    image0.jpg

Seated mountain double arm variation I

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture.

  2. As you inhale, raise your arms from the front up and overhead.

    Try to bring your arms along side of your ears with your palms forward, but don’t force it.

  3. As you exhale, lower your arms back to your sides.

  4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 four to six times.

    image1.jpg

Seated mountain double arm variation II

The following steps show you how to achieve this pose.

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture.

  2. As you inhale, raise your arms from the front, up and overhead.

  3. Interlace your fingers and reverse your palms up toward the ceiling.

  4. Keeping your arms soft, hold your arms alongside your ears for 4 to 6 breaths.

    image2.jpg

Seated triangle posture

Follow these steps to achieve seated triangle posture:

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture and, as you inhale, raise your right arm out and up from the right side with your palm rotated inward toward your head.

  2. As you exhale, lean your right arm, head, and torso to the left as you drop your left arm down.

    Keep your hips on the seat of the chair.

  3. Hold Step 2 for 4 to 6 breaths and then repeat Steps 1 through 3 on the opposite side (with the left arm).

    image3.jpg

Seated pigeon posture

Don’t try this posture if you’ve had a hip replacement. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture.

  2. As you exhale, bring your bent right knee directly up and then hold the outside of that knee with your right hand and the outside of your right heel with your left hand.

  3. Place the outside of your right ankle on top of your left thigh just above your left knee; drop your right knee down towards the floor to a comfortable level.

  4. Stay for 4 to 6 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

You can slowly and gently move your top knee up and down a few times to limber the hip joint before you relax and breathe.

image4.jpg

Seated warrior I chair variation

Follow these steps to complete this variation yourself:

  1. Straddle your chair sideways with the back of the chair on your right.

  2. Keep your right knee bent in a right angle and try to straighten your back (left) leg with your toes or foot on the floor.

  3. As you inhale, raise both arms forward and up until they’re alongside your ears.

  4. Stay in this position for 4 to 6 breaths and then repeat Steps 1 through 3 on the other (left) side, holding Step 3 for 4 to 6 breaths.

    image5.jpg

Seated camel posture

The following steps show you how to execute this posture:

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture.

  2. Move to the front edge of your chair; reach back with your hands and hold the back of your seat or the sides of your chair back.

  3. As you inhale, lengthen your head and neck up and then slowly look up at the ceiling; hold this position for 4 to 6 breaths.

If you have neck problems, begin by just looking forward and then try looking up gradually over a period of time. If this head movement causes any pain or dizziness, leave it out.

image6.jpg

Seated forward bend

These steps help you achieve this bend.

  1. Start in the seated mountain posture.

  2. As you exhale, bend forward from your hips and slide your hands forward and down your legs.

  3. Let your head and arms hang down and relax in the folded position for 4 to 6 breaths.

  4. Finish the sequence in the seated mountain posture. Close your eyes and use focus breathing or a relaxation technique for two to five minutes.

    image7.jpg
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