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Monthly Archives June 2024

Yoga for Achilles Tendonitis: Tips for Relief & Healing

A person holding their ankle in discomfort before using yoga for Achilles tendonitis
A person holding their ankle in discomfort before using yoga for Achilles tendonitis

It’s a common conundrum: you need to stretch and strengthen your muscles in order to treat a condition like Achilles tendonitis, but irritation or overstretching can quickly make things worse. How do you find the right balance? When using yoga for Achilles tendonitis correctly, you can warm up appropriately, stick to gentle movements, and reap additional benefits unique to yoga techniques.

Not only have I worked one-on-one with clients who have Achilles tendonitis, but I’ve also devoted my life to teaching the next generation of yoga therapists to do the same. I’m Brandt Passalacqua, the Co-Founder, Director, and Lead Teacher of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy. I hope the insights I’ve shared below will help you on your path to healing. If you want direct guidance from myself or one of our other highly trained yoga therapists, please take a look at our private online sessions to work with us.

Table of Contents:

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

Diagram showing the muscles of the foot and ankle with those inflamed by Achilles tendonitis in red

Achilles tendonitis occurs when your Achilles tendon becomes inflamed. This tendon is the thick band of tissue running from your calf muscles in the back of your legs to your heel bones. This condition is often referred to as “Achilles tendonitis,” “Achilles tendinitis,” “Achilles tendinosis,” and “Achilles tendinopathy.”

What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?

There are several common causes of Achilles tendonitis, including:

  • Directly injuring the Achilles tendon
  • Repeatedly straining or overusing the Achilles tendon, such as in running or jumping sports
  • Increasing physical activity that uses the Achilles tendon without preparing for it
  • Improperly stretching after working out
  • Poorly fitting footwear

What Are the Benefits of Doing Yoga for Achilles Tendonitis?

Yoga is especially well-positioned to help you relieve pain from Achilles tendonitis, treat the condition, and prevent its return. Techniques such as asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) create a powerful combination that strengthens and stretches muscles, while also soothing the nervous system to promote recovery.

Relieving Pain

There are several ways in which yoga offers pain relief to those with Achilles tendonitis. The most apparent is that yoga offers you a host of gentle movements that can safely stretch your calf muscles, targeting this area without irritating the Achilles tendon. Over time, this can help reduce your pain. Yoga also enables you to strengthen the muscles that support your Achilles tendon, bringing further relief. In general, yoga allows you to regulate your nervous system responses, encouraging the rest-and-digest state that can help you manage pain.

Soothing Your Nervous System

Pain often triggers the fight-or-flight response from your nervous system. Yoga can help you turn off that response and promote the rest-and-digest response instead. By consistently practicing calming yoga sequences, breathing exercises, and meditation, you can shift your body from a state of tension to one of rest and repair.

Studies have also shown that yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, both of which can amplify your perception of pain. Through yoga, you can help your body tap into its innate healing processes by promoting relaxation, reducing stress hormones, and facilitating a soothing environment conducive to recovery.

Targeted Muscle Strengthening

One of the benefits of yoga is that it allows for targeted muscle strengthening. There are numerous yoga poses that can strengthen the muscles around the Achilles tendon, especially the calf muscles, which support and stabilize your ankle. For those with Achilles tendonitis, being able to target specific muscle groups also means you can avoid putting stress on your tendon, which is crucial for recovery. You can also practice exercises that help form arches in your feet.

Preventative Care

If your Achilles tendonitis is related to straining or injuring your Achilles tendon, yoga can help you form arches in your feet and strengthen the muscles that support this tendon to reduce the risk of future injury. Yoga also offers you gentle warm-up exercises that can make you less likely to overstretch your Achilles tendon moving forward.

But in some cases, the cause of Achilles tendonitis relates to other muscles. The superficial back line refers to connected fascia that runs the length of the back of your body, from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. Because the Achilles tendon is part of the superficial back line, you could present with pain in your Achilles tendon that is related to tightness or strain in another part of your body, such as your neck, hamstring, lower back, or buttocks—or vice versa. By practicing forward bends and other yoga poses that address the back line, you can potentially prevent future incidents of Achilles tendonitis.

Ways to Use Yoga for Achilles Tendonitis

As mentioned above, there are several different ways you can use yoga for Achilles tendonitis. These techniques include warm ups, stretching and strengthening exercises, and breathing exercises.

Warm Up with Yoga

Starting your physical activities with a yoga warm-up is excellent for preparing your muscles and tendons before stretching or strengthening exercises. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have Achilles tendonitis is to avoid overstretching these tendons, which means warming up instead of jumping straight into stretching or working out.

Gentle movements can progressively heat the body, helping to enhance the elasticity of your connective tissues and reduce the risk of injury. Particularly for those managing Achilles tendonitis, focusing on slowly warming up with yoga can ensure the tendon and the muscles that support it are more pliable and less prone to further strain.

Stretch and Strengthen Gently

Yoga offers the perfect platform to gently stretch and strengthen the area affected by Achilles tendonitis. You want to stretch and strengthen muscles like your calves, which are attached to and support the Achilles tendon. As mentioned earlier, yoga is great for targeting specific muscle groups in the body. By lightly activating the muscles around these tendons, you can gradually increase their strength without resorting to the abrupt, high-impact movements that might aggravate your tendons.

Breathing Exercises

A common misconception about yoga is that it only involves physical movements and poses. In fact, there are many techniques within yoga, including pranayama, or breathing exercises.

Learning to breathe properly from your diaphragm can relax your nervous system, which helps promote healing. Diaphragmatic breathing is especially beneficial when used in conjunction with yoga poses and sequences. Calming your nervous system will enable you to relax the muscles that your Achilles tendon is attached to, making it easier to perform these movements safely and effectively.

Example Yoga Poses for Achilles Tendonitis

As a yoga therapist, I know that everyone is different, and what works best for you might not be right for someone else. That’s the beauty of yoga therapy, a holistic approach to health and wellness that applies yoga techniques therapeutically on an individual basis. For this reason, I recommend working with a yoga therapist if you want to treat a specific physical or mental health issue with yoga so you can get techniques personalized to you. But to give you an idea of some movements you might encounter, I’ve outlined some example yoga poses for Achilles tendonitis below.

Warm Up with Ankle and Calf Movements

To reduce the risk of further strain or injury, warm up your Achilles tendon and the surrounding muscles.

A demonstration of dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, and ankle rolls as part of yoga for Achilles tendonitis

You can start by pointing your toes to stretch the Achilles tendon gently, then flex your feet to activate the muscle groups connected to the tendon. Ankle rotations add an element of mobility, ensuring that all aspects of the ankle joint are warmed up evenly.

These movements are typically safe and beneficial to perform even when experiencing mild discomfort from tendonitis, as long as they’re done slowly, gently, and within a pain-free range.

Strengthen and Form Arches with Toe Lifts

While keeping your heels on the floor, gently lift your toes off the ground. Work slowly, focusing on the sensations of your muscles and making sure you don’t irritate the Achilles tendon. Toe lifts help to form arches in your feet, giving you greater stability and supporting the health of your back line. They also engage the muscles in your feet and lower legs, strengthening them over time and taking pressure off the Achilles tendon.

Strengthen and Form Arches with Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose, or Tadasana, is a foundational yoga pose with numerous benefits. To practice Mountain Pose, stand with your feet together, your arms slightly apart from your torso, and your palms facing forward. Feel the weight you place on each foot and make sure it’s evenly distributed. Gently lift through your arches to engage the muscles in your feet, calves, and thighs. This not only strengthens these muscles, but also helps promote arch formation in your feet.

Stretch Calves with Gentle Downward Dog or Lunges

A person performing a gentle Downward Dog followed by a lunge as part of their yoga for Achilles tendonitis

When stretching your calves, be sure to do gentle versions of poses. You should feel the stretch in your calves, not your Achilles tendon.

Typically, Downward Dog is performed by posing your body in an A-shape. Your hands and feet are on the floor, and your torso and legs form a straight incline that peaks at your tailbone. You could adjust Downward Dog by bending your knees slightly and gently bringing your feet flat on the mat, stopping if you feel too much tension in your tendons.

In a lunge, you traditionally have one foot flat on the floor, and that leg forms a right angle. The other leg extends behind you, with only your toes or the top of that foot resting on the floor. Be especially mindful of your feet and avoid lunges that are too deep in order to facilitate a gentle stretch in your calf without overstretching your Achilles tendon.

Adapting Your Yoga Practice

While it can be beneficial to practice yoga with Achilles tendonitis, yoga can also cause the condition or make it worse if you aren’t careful. You may not want to attend a group yoga class while you have Achilles tendonitis unless you feel confident in adapting the practices from the class to meet your needs. For personalized instruction, I recommend seeking the guidance of a yoga therapist. Not only can they help you find a safe personal yoga practice, but they can also teach you how to adequately adapt poses you encounter in your yoga class.

These are a few of my top tips for adapting a yoga practice if you have Achilles tendonitis:

  • Always Warm Up First: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now—don’t go straight into stretches and muscle strengthening. You could overstretch the Achilles tendon and make the injury worse instead of better. Warm yourself up gently first.
  • Avoid Overstretching or Irritating Your Tendons: It sounds obvious, but one of the most important things you can do to heal from Achilles tendonitis is make sure you aren’t overstretching or irritating those tendons. Modify or avoid movements that could engage these tendons, such as jumping or high-impact movements. Stick to gentle stretches and stop if you feel pain.
  • Use Props for Safer Practice: Props can help you safely practice a yoga pose or movement within your body’s limitations. For those with Achilles tendonitis, it can be especially helpful to put a small prop under your heels, such as a rolled towel or the rolled end of your yoga mat. This can relieve tension in your Achilles tendon when your heels are lifted.
  • Listen to Your Body: This is good advice in general, and especially when dealing with Achilles tendonitis. Your body communicates with pain and discomfort when you’re pushing it too far. Listen to these signals, stop what you’re doing, and consider if there’s a way to adapt the movement or use props next time to put less pressure on your Achilles tendon.
  • Recognize the Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis: If you’re going to listen to your body effectively, know what to be on the lookout for. With Achilles tendonitis, it is normal to feel mild discomfort while stretching. Signs that you may be irritating your Achilles tendon include sharp or throbbing pain, swelling, sensations of overstretching, ankle weakness, or trouble standing on your ankle.
  • Consider Contrast Bathing to Complement Yoga: Contrast bathing, also known as hot-cold water therapy, involves alternating between hot and cold water immersion for affected areas of the body. It can help relieve inflammation and pain, while also improving circulation and healing. If you’re looking for additional techniques to practice in conjunction with yoga, contrast bathing could be effective.


Can Yoga Cause Achilles Tendonitis?

Yes, yoga techniques that engage the Achilles tendon run the risk of causing Achilles tendonitis if you overuse or overstretch these tendons, especially without warming up. The same is true for other exercises as well.

How to Know if Yoga Is Irritating Your Injured Tendon

In general, you can tell if you are irritating your Achilles tendon by how it feels during and after yoga. Increased pain, stiffness, swelling, or weakness can be signs you are exacerbating your Achilles tendonitis.

Does Achilles Tendonitis Ever Go Away?

Yes, Achilles tendonitis can go away if you treat it properly. Be sure to get enough rest, wear supportive footwear, and avoid agitating your Achilles tendon in order to heal.

Get Professional Yoga Therapy for Achilles Tendonitis

Brandt, the founder and director of Breathing Deeply, helps a student position another person on a yoga mat while training to become a yoga therapist

If you want to work with a professional yoga therapist to treat your Achilles tendonitis, we’re pleased to be able to offer private, one-on-one sessions with our certified experts over Zoom. Take a look to learn more and reach out using the form at the bottom of the page.

How to Treat Anxiety Through the Koshas in Yoga Therapy

yoga therapy for anxiety
yoga therapy for anxiety

Welcome to episode 81 of The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy and Meditation podcast.

Anxiety is the most common complaint we work with as yoga therapists! Therefore, this area of mental health is crucial for us to understand and help our students and clients with.

In this epsiode, Brand discusses anxiety and how it can arise in different ways through each of the 5 koshas. Learn about the two different types of anxiety people experience and different tools and techniques that can be used for each as a yoga therapist.

Brandt also goes over an example of a yoga practice for anxiety that has been very effective for his clients.

Here is the link to the grounding Om Aim Hreem Kreem Namaha meditation for anxiety mentioned in the video.

This was a clip taken from inside our Yoga Therapy Foundations Program.

Our next class starts on the 27th of June 2024: https://bit.ly/40Tyxmc

Om Shanthi

This episode covers the following questions:

  • How anxiety arises
  • Looking at anxiety through the lens of the Koshas
  • Two categories of anxiety that yoga therapists work with 
  • Techniques to work with external event anxiety
  • Techniques to work with generalized anxiety
  • An example yoga therapy practice for anxiety
  • The difference between a practice for anxiety & a general yoga practice

Breathing Deeply is a Yoga Therapy and Meditation School, founded by lead teacher Brand Passalacqua in 2014. We hold online and in-person Yoga Therapy Foundations and IAYT accredited Advanced Programs and retreats along with Meditation Programs, including online meditation teacher training and certification and holistic weight loss with Being At Peace with Food.

Breathing Deeply is made up of an active and thriving community of yogis, caregivers, therapists, teachers, medical professionals, parents & children with the same intention—to serve others, lessen suffering, and co-create a new paradigm in wellness.

Chair Yoga for Seniors: Tips for a Healthy Practice

An older man practicing a spinal twist while seated on a chair, demonstrating how to do chair yoga for seniors
An older man practicing a spinal twist while seated on a chair, demonstrating how to do chair yoga for seniors

Looking for ways to keep yourself, your loved one, or your client or patient healthy as they age? You’re right to consider chair yoga for seniors. It offers older folks a gentle yet effective way to stay active, while also promoting good mental and emotional health.

I’m Brandt Passalacqua, the Co-Founder, Director, and Lead Teacher of Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy. I’ve worked with seniors in my own yoga therapy practice, and I’ve also mentored many students as they provide yoga therapy to older populations. Keep reading for my insights on the benefits of chair yoga for seniors, how to get started, what an example chair yoga sequence for seniors could look like, and more.

Table of Contents:

What Is Chair Yoga for Seniors?

Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be performed while seated in a chair. Made to be safer and more accessible, you can use chair yoga exercises for seniors regardless of their mobility levels. This allows people to gain the benefits of yoga as they age and may no longer be able to perform floor-based yoga poses.

What Are the Benefits of Chair Yoga for Seniors?

An older man uses a chair for balance and support while stretching, showing that chair yoga is good for weight loss and mobility

There are many benefits of chair yoga for seniors, including its accessibility, safety, ability to be practiced almost anywhere, easily adjusted skill level, and conduciveness to breaks and rest. In addition to its physical benefits, chair yoga can improve mental and emotional health as well. In fact, chair yoga is every bit as effective as non-seated yoga!

It’s Accessible

One of the major benefits of chair yoga is that it makes yoga accessible to a wider audience. Standard yoga poses are adapted to be done while seated in chair, making it more accessible to people with:

  • Limited mobility
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Balance issues

It’s Easier to Stay Safe

When you’re not on your feet and focused on balancing, you can pay more attention to your body and other aspects of your posture. Similarly, you can be more careful with any forward bends or twists while seated. This makes it easier to take care of your lower back and stay safe while practicing yoga.

You Can Do It Anywhere

In general, yoga is easy to practice almost anywhere. It requires little space and equipment, with most people using only a yoga mat and perhaps some yoga blocks.

With chair yoga, all you really need is a chair! You don’t need a yoga mat, and you only need blocks if you require additional support for certain poses. This makes it easy to practice at home, at work, or while traveling.

Its Difficulty Is Easily Adjusted

Yoga techniques can be modified to accommodate different needs and skill levels. Start with easier adaptations of yoga poses, breathing techniques, and meditation exercises. Once you feel comfortable, you can adjust these practices to be more difficult without needing additional weights, equipment, or classes to do so.

You Can Take Breaks or Rest

When it comes to chair yoga exercises for seniors, taking care of your body is paramount. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed when exercising.

Chair yoga is especially well-suited for this. As you practice yoga, you become more aware of your body and how it’s feeling. Since you’re already seated, it’s especially easy to stop to take a break or rest. This allows seniors to develop a routine that is safe and moves at their pace, especially if they have certain health considerations or lower endurance levels to take into account.

It’s Just as Effective

Although it is often gentler, chair yoga is just as effective as yoga performed while standing. You can still target any muscle group in the body while seated. You can still work on balance, flexibility, and strength. You also still have access to a range of techniques besides asanas (yoga poses), including breathing techniques and meditation. The only difference is that it is more accessible.

There Are Physical, Mental, and Emotional Benefits

When you think about exercising, you’re usually only expecting to improve your physical health. But with yoga, there are also mental and emotional health benefits.

  • Physical benefits include increased strength, flexibility, and balance. Over time, you might also notice you feel less joint pain and are sleeping better. All of these make chair yoga for seniors a great way to maintain independence and daily functioning.
  • Mental benefits include decreased stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies have shown that yoga can effectively treat these mental health conditions, which tend to be common among senior citizens.
  • Emotional benefits include developing emotional resilience and finding peace with where you’re at in life. These are especially important for us as we age and encounter a new phase of life with its own unique qualities and challenges.

How to Get Started with Chair Yoga

An older man stretching one side with his arm over his head as one of several chair yoga exercises for seniors

If you’re sold on the benefits of chair yoga for seniors, the next step is learning how to get started. I recommend consulting with a doctor first, then deciding if you’d like to work with a yoga therapist, take a group class, or simply practice at home. Keep in mind risks that are common among seniors so you can safely navigate them, and customize your yoga practice according to your goals, abilities, and conditions. Finally, you can take steps to practice yoga in a comfortable environment and while wearing appropriate attire.

Consult with a Doctor First

Before starting a new exercise routine, it’s a good idea to run it by your doctor. When you reach a certain age, this becomes even more important, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns that could affect your ability to practice yoga safely. Ask your doctor:

  • Is it safe for me to practice chair yoga?
  • Are there any precautions I should take?
  • Are there any yoga poses, breathing techniques, or meditation practices that I should avoid? Any that I can modify to be safe for me?

Yoga Therapy, Yoga Classes, or At-Home Practice

Once you’re cleared to begin using chair yoga exercises for seniors, the question becomes where you will practice. What you decide will depend on your preferences, goals, and needs.

  • Yoga Therapy: A yoga therapist is best suited for seniors who want to treat specific health conditions or concerns with yoga, such as back pain, joint pain, arthritis, stress, anxiety, depression, or any other physical or mental condition. You’ll work one-on-one with a professional who is trained to apply yoga techniques therapeutically and tailor them to your unique body and mind.
  • Yoga Classes: A yoga class is best suited for seniors who want a knowledgeable instructor’s guidance on yoga techniques and the opportunity to socialize in a group of people. Just make sure you know your limitations and can modify the practices as needed. Yoga teachers are limited in their ability to individualize practices for their students, so be prepared to make any adaptations you need yourself.
  • At-Home Practice: At-home practice is best suited for seniors who feel confident doing yoga and prefer moving at their own pace in their own environment. You may use tutorials you find online, on DVD, or on TV to guide your practice. But be sure that these materials are reputable and safe for you. If you need more guidance at first but still want to practice at home, there are group classes and individual yoga therapy sessions conducted online to get you started. Once you know the ropes, you can switch to practicing on your own if you prefer.

Common Risks and How to Navigate Them Safely

Generally, chair yoga is a low-risk activity. But there are still some potential safety concerns to keep in mind, such as slipping, overstretching, or improper posture. Know common risks and how to practice yoga safely, including:

  • Using a chair that is sturdy and does not have wheels to avoid slipping
  • Moving gradually and gently to avoid overextension or injury
  • Listening to your body so you don’t accidentally overstretch or push yourself too hard
  • Checking your form to make sure you have proper alignment, which will give you the greatest benefit and help avoid injury

Customize Chair Yoga to Individual Abilities and Conditions

Customization is key in chair yoga for seniors, as it allows you to adapt your practice to fit your unique abilities and health condition. Seniors in particular should modify poses to accommodate their comfort levels and physical limitations. This could mean:

  • Shortening the duration of a pose, breathing technique, or meditation
  • Minimizing the range of motion in a pose
  • Adding yoga blocks or cushions to provide additional support

For those with specific medical conditions like arthritis or heart disease, certain poses may be particularly beneficial or should be avoided altogether. An experienced yoga therapist can assist in creating a customized practice that considers these factors to promote both safety and effectiveness.

Set Up Your Space

Setting up a space for chair yoga can significantly enhance your experience and outcomes. Even if you’re going to a yoga therapist or yoga teacher in their space, you may be able to request certain changes to the environment. For example:

  • Make sure you’re in a calm, comfortable, clutter-free area.
  • Give yourself enough room to move around and stretch.
  • Get a sturdy chair without wheels that has a firm seat and supportive back.
  • Use a yoga mat or non-slip rug under your feet if needed.
  • To help with visibility, make sure you’re in a well-lit environment.
  • Add personal touches if they help relax you, such as cushions, candles, or photos.
  • Have someone available to spot or watch you if needed in case you require help.

Wear Comfortable Attire

To get the most out of your chair yoga practice, be sure to wear the right clothing. Choose attire that offers comfort and allows for a full range of motion.

  • Stretchy, breathable materials that don’t restrict your movements are ideal.
  • Loose-fitting tops and pants or leggings work well, both for allowing you to move and maintaining circulation.
  • Avoid clothes that are too baggy, as they can get in the way of poses or catch on your chair as you move.

6 Example Chair Yoga Exercises for Seniors

A person practicing Warrior II Pose modified for chair yoga

As a yoga therapist, I know that my clients get the best outcomes for their specific goals by using yoga techniques that are tailored to them individually. It’s not possible to provide a chair yoga sequence for seniors that will resolve any individual’s back problems or anxiety—these practices need to take into account your unique circumstances. But to give you an idea of what some chair yoga exercises for seniors could look like, I’ve put together a list of 6 examples below.

  1. Seated Mountain Pose: This fundamental pose lays the groundwork for good posture and a strong spine. It can also help relieve back pain. As a chair yoga pose, it can be performed by sitting on your chair with your feet flat on the ground, elongating your spine as you inhale, and releasing any tension in your body as you exhale.
  2. Gentle Seated Twist: Gentle twists and bends can be excellent chair yoga exercises for seniors. They often promote good digestion and spinal flexibility, and they may also relieve back pain. To practice a seated twist, sit up with your back straight and your feet on the floor, lengthen your spine, and twist at the hips to one side. Then switch sides.
  3. Chair Warrior Poses: Both Chair Warrior I and II can be performed while seated to strengthen several muscle groups, improve your balance, and achieve greater stability. For Warrior I, sit sideways on a chair, keep one leg at a 90-degree angle, stretch the other leg behind you, and raise your arms toward the ceiling. For Warrior II, sit sideways on a chair, keep one leg at a 90-degree angle, stretch the other leg behind you, and hold your arms parallel to the ground above each leg, looking directly ahead over the arm that is above your bent knee.
  4. Chair Pigeon Pose: Forward folds like Pigeon Pose can help sooth and stretch muscles in the lower back, hips, and hamstrings, which also helps improve flexibility. To practice a Chair Pigeon Pose, leave one foot firmly planted on the floor, raise the other leg so its ankle is crossed over the knee of the planted leg, and, hinging at your hips, gently fold forward.
  5. Seated Diaphragmatic Breathing: Deep breathing, either alone or coordinated with movement, can engage your parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest-and-digest response. It has both physical and mental benefits, relieving muscle tension in your body while also calming your mind. To practice Diaphragmatic Breathing as chair yoga for seniors, sit upright in a comfortable chair, inhale deeply and consciously into your abdomen, and exhale slowly and steadily.
  6. Seated Guided Meditation: Meditating can improve your concentration, quiet your mind, reduce stress and anxiety, and help you find inner peace. Seniors can easily follow a guided meditation while seated. For example, you may be directed to close your eyes, pay attention to your breathing or sensations in your body, repeat a mantra or visualize an image to hone your concentration, and gently guide your mind back when it wanders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chair yoga be effective in managing chronic conditions?

Yes! You can use chair yoga for seniors to reduce pain, increase mobility, and maintain physical function, helping to manage chronic conditions. Gentle movements and stretches can improve joint health and comfort. Yoga poses, breathing techniques, and meditation can all contribute to better mental health and emotional resilience, supporting seniors in having a positive perspective about their circumstances.

How does chair yoga improve balance and prevent falls?

By strengthening the muscles used for stability, improving posture, and promoting better coordination, chair yoga can help with balance. Better balance can reduce the risk of falling, which is a major health concern for many seniors.

Can you lose weight or belly fat from doing chair yoga exercises for seniors?

Any kind of yoga can support weight loss, including chair yoga! While it’s not the most effective exercise for burning calories, it can support the mobility and functioning that keep you active, reduce stress that can lead to bad habits, make you more aware of your body, and facilitate habit change.

How many times a week should you do chair yoga?

Practicing chair yoga for seniors three times a week, or about every other day, is great! But any amount of yoga is useful, especially if you keep at it consistently over time.

How long does it take to see results with chair yoga?

The time it takes to see results from chair yoga will vary based on your unique circumstances, what you do, how often you practice, and what you’re trying to achieve. Many clients start noticing changes within a few weeks or months.

Which is better for seniors, Pilates or yoga?

While Pilates and yoga can both be beneficial to seniors, chair yoga is a great entry point that requires less skill to get started. If you’re looking for group classes, it may be easier to find a yoga instructor with the knowledge and skills necessary to help you. If you’re open to trying yoga therapy, it gives you the option to address specific pathologies, better manage pain, and improve mental and emotional health in addition to physical health.

Where can I find chair yoga for seniors near me?

First, decide if you’re looking for yoga therapy or group yoga classes. To find chair yoga classes for seniors near you, check local community centers, senior centers, gyms, or wellness clinics. If you’re looking for a reputable yoga therapist, the International Association of Yoga Therapists has a database of certified yoga therapists. For those who would prefer to get guidance online, you can find yoga classes or yoga therapists to walk you through techniques from the comfort of your own home. This can also be helpful if you are struggling to find a suitable class or yoga therapist where you live.

Work with Our Yoga Therapists Online

Carol Day Young with Brandt Passalacqua

At Breathing Deeply, we want to make sure that safe, practical, and effective yoga therapy is available to people regardless of where they are located. Our trained yoga therapists are able to work one-on-one providing chair yoga for seniors over online calls. Visit the page about our online yoga therapy sessions to learn more, and use the contact form at the bottom of the page to get in touch.

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