I came across this wonderful article on Chair Yoga called “Adaptive Chair Yoga: 5 Reasons It’s for EVERYONE!” You probably are wondering, “What the heck is that?! How do you do yoga with a chair?”
It really is a style of yoga. It is meant to make yoga accessible to all. Those of you with disabilities, weight challenges, inflexibility, or who just cannot get on the floor for whatever reason can benefit from a daily practice of yoga on a chair in the comfort of your home or office. The chair replaces the yoga mat and becomes an extension of your body allowing you to take full advantage of yoga’s amazing fitness and health potential. You can receive the many benefits of chair yoga–the integration of body, mind, and spirit.
I wish I knew about Chair Yoga when I was so very ill a few years ago. I was devastated that I could do my yoga practice and could only manage a very short time on the mat. Chair Yoga would have helped me immensely. Now that I have been on the healing path for some time now, and thanks to our resident teacher, Sarah Kangas, and her classes, my healing blossomed more since the studio opened in April. It led me to fulfill a dream I had 20 years ago that being attending yoga teacher training. I did so this summer and I was so pleased and proud I did. It felt fulfilled and happy to finally do something I never thought I would ever do at almost 55 years of age.
Yoga is for everyone, no matter your size or shape or physical ability. It truly is the integration of the body, mind, and spirit, our focus at our Meditate Madison studio and our online presence with Meditation Stepping Stones. That is why it was my mission as I was in yoga teacher training to offer Mindful Chair Yoga besides Mindful Yoga, Yoga Nidra, and Restorative Yoga.
It fits my meditative qualities if you know me! I wanted to present classes that were gentle, relaxing, peaceful and included meditation. I offer video classes through my monthly Steps to Inner Peace membership if you happen to live outside of Madison, Wisconsin.
But enough about me!
Back to Mary Higgs and her article…
With this article by Mary Higgs, she speaks to how it has helped her… There are many barriers that keep people from trying yoga. Some are related to health, physical challenges, and body image issues. Others stem from preconceived ideas of what a yogi is. In my case, I thought I couldn’t do yoga because I had a spine injury caused by a car accident when I was 19 years old. 32 years later, I found the courage to walk into my first yoga class and everything changed.
As someone with a spinal injury, I had to learn how to make yoga work for me. Along my yoga journey, I came across teachers and approaches that allowed me to see that I wasn’t alone and yoga really could work for every body. Like me, there were others with physical challenges needing to modify the practice.
Once I tried Adaptive Yoga and began customizing poses for my body, I found home.
Deb Phelps, C.MI, RYT