Gentle Chair Yoga stretches, postures and breathing techniques will improve your quality of life no matter how old you are.
If you cannot get down on a mat, you may want to try out a class that uses a chair as a prop. Often times the chair is used as something to hold onto when standing Yoga positions for Chair Yoga are being practiced, The chair assists with balance and provides more confidence when attempting the different poses.
I continue the stretches at home but I benefit more from being with my instructor and group of friends. Though Yoga positions for Chair Yoga vary a bit because participants do sit down for part of the class, they are not completely separate exercises from traditional Yoga – just modified. According to the University of Michigan Health System, people are fit when they can do physical activity with energy and a sense of well-being. The Mayo Clinic reports that practicing Yoga may help with sleep problems, fatigue and mood, which in turn could have positive effects on a variety of  health conditions such as high blood pressure, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), vertigo, depression, and chronic syndromes such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS).
Practicing Yoga is also ideal for people suffering with Arthritis because it reduces the pressure placed on joints, while still offering opportunities for stretching to increase flexibility and range of motion.
For me, living with CFS, FMS and Arthritis, Chair Yoga has been instrumental in controlling pain.
Some of the modified Yoga positions for Chair Yoga are Downward Facing Dog, or assisted balance poses, such as Tree or Dancer.
With an inhalation, sweep your arms above your head, you can tilt your head back and look up. When you feel ready to end, sit for a few moments with your hands at your heart center, your head gently bowed forward, and your eyes closed. To read more about my journey living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – click here.
I go there feeling slouched over in pain, and leave there feeling taller and more at peace. While it does not directly prepare you for intense physical activity, it allows you to keep up with your daily life and generally improve basic routines. Some of the poses are discrete enough to be done while at work in the office, in a wheelchair, or in a plane, such as simple spinal movements, deep breathing techniques and wrist or ankle rotations. This is one that you can start your day with: Begin with your hands at your heart center (breast bone), palms together in prayer pose. If seated, sit well in your chair with your back away from the back of the chair, feet planted firmly on the floor. Unique in its approach to working the body "smart", not "hard", it is renowned for achieving long-term physical benefits. Being at home, I find it difficult to just sit by myself for twenty minutes and be introspective. They cite flexibility as one of the key components of fitness and many of the postures strengthen muscles, too.
As you begin to exhale, sweep your arms back out to the skies and return your hands to your heart center.


If standing, be sure your body is well aligned with your feet planted firmly,  hip distance apart. It is endorsed by medical and fitness professionals in many countries for its ability to re-educate the body to move efficiently, improving the quality of an individual's daily activities.
I think I will make that a resolution for the new year, try to sit still for twenty minutes and clear my mind!
Learning to target, strengthen, and enhance these muscles that are primarily responsible for our bi-pedal physical stature, Pilates is a great form of exercise that promotes overall health and well-being. With his state of the art techniques that were invented to allow bedridden patients the opportunity to properly exercise, Pilates established a reputation that not only improved the physical well-being of his followers, but also caught the eye of German military officials.
Joseph used a variety of springs and stretchy materials that could easily be incorporated into movements within the limited space of a hospital room.A His movement system was designed to deliver the ultimate full-body workout in a gentle and effective manner, borrowing principles from various Eastern and Western exercise philosophies. He believed that the mind controls the muscles and that endless repititions of meaningless exercises do more harm than good. When exercising using Pilates' principles, the outcome is better posture, stronger and more flexible muscles, greater energy and an increased ability to cope with day-to-day stresses.A After immigrating to the United States in 1926 and establishing his own fitness studio in New York City, Pilatesa€™ techniques became incredibly popular amongst a variety of performance artists and professionals at the New York City Ballet. Many followers of Pilates began to spread this new style of exercise movement and slowly but surely, Pilates became a well-known routine in the areas of athletics, fitness training, and even amongst licensed healthcare providers.A A plethora of well-known dancers and performers studied under the direction of Joseph Pilates and his wife Clara. Even after Joseph died, his legacy lived on thanks to his loyal advocates and supporters who continued to share his technique with others. It is said that without mental focus during a workout, essentially only half a workout is being done. Inhaling and exhaling fully promotes purification and oxygenation of the lungs and bloodstream which energizes the system and gives a feeling of well-being.A A Although the routine of Pilates is certainly one that is designed to target our physical health, the overarching basis of this movement encompasses a complete lifestyle of balanced health. Such control is a requisite to both preventing spinal injury, and managing any existing back or neck pain.
Pilates exercises specifically aim to create muscle balance in the body, greater coordination of movement and control of the abdominals and breathing. These exercises encourage the use of the body as a whole unit, developing strong, lean musculature, rather than allowing individual muscle groups to develop isolated strength and to become bulky. The philosophies behind the Pilates method have been constant for many years, but it is only recently that people have begun to recognize its "tried and true", more holistic approach to maintaining physical fitness.A The Pilates repertoire of exercises is very adaptable, with most exercises having both a modified and a progressive version. A typical Pilates mat work session will progress the exercises in a particular order, so that the muscles are prepared for subsequent exercises and a full-body workout is achieved. When these series of movements are executed in a precise and flowing manner, an authentic synergy between mind and body is met, natural poise is achieved, and overall well-being is enhanced.A Pilates is a great method to improve your entire lifestyle. It fosters a strong connection between our thought processing abilities and our physical, bodily movements.
It strengthens our muscles, improves flexibility, enhances grace and coordination, and even promotes endurance. Regardless of age or physical ability, Pilates is an exceptional method of physical activity.A Many dedicated athletes and fitness enthusiasts enjoy participating in Pilates because it is a low-impact form of training that can be completed just about anywhere. Participants do not have to invest in any expensive equipment, although a fitness studio dedicated to Pilates might choose to do so, there are plenty of Pilates techniques that need nothing more than your physical body.


For athletes, Pilates improves balance, flexibility, awareness, and control.A Pilates is an exceptional form of physical therapy for individuals who have experienced injury or some other physical limitation. In fact, many physical therapists regularly incorporate Pilates techniques into their rehabilitation regimens. Pilates has been proven as an effective treatment for chronic pain, joint replacement surgery, multiple sclerosis, nerve conditions, or some other physical complications that affect the muscular and skeletal systems.A Pilates is also a great avenue of safe physical activity for expecting mothers. Although there are certainly plenty of exercises and movements that beginners can conduct at home, an instructor can provide helpful suggestions and critique that will help ensure you are performing the movements correctly. With proper breathing and focus, this precise form of movement maximizes your muscular discipline and physical power. Good quality movement while preventing spinal injury begins by working the muscles from the inside out. This means refining the action of the abdominal muscles so that you can work the deepest layers responsible for maintaining 'core' stability. To target this area you need to focus on the 'drawing in and up' of the lower abdomen -between the pubic bone and navel. Imagine zipping up the abdominals starting from the pubic bone, as if you're zipping up tight jeans! Use pelvic floor muscles and flatten and tighten the abdominals towards the floor, without actually disturbing your neutral pelvis.
During a pilates session an instructor would typically describe this action as 'scooping', 'drawing in' or 'pressing the navel to the spine' in order to ensure that the deepest layers of abdominals are strengthened.A Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Although both forms of movement promote both physical and mental well-being, yoga tends to have a higher concentration on breathing and stationary poses. Pilates in general tends to hold a stronger focus on strength training and physical challenge.
This technique of conditioning the body and mind was developed with the intention to re-create an individual's approach to exercise and fitness in general.
Far beyond the "no pain, no gain" mentality of working the body, Pilates enforces muscle control and endurance without resulting in post-exercise soreness and fatigue. It is endorsed by medical and fitness professionals in many countries for its ability to re-educate the body to move efficiently, improving the quality of an individual's daily activities. Imagine zipping up the abdominals starting from the pubic bone, as if you're zipping up tight jeans! This technique of conditioning the body and mind was developed with the intention to re-create an individual's approach to exercise and fitness in general.



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