Chair yoga promotes student safety in many ways. All of the same physical and emotional benefits of regular postures and breathing exercises can also be found in Chair Yoga. Suppose you are a Yoga student who is living with a chronic health condition that necessitates the use of props to safely practice asanas by participating in chair classes. In that case, you will gain many benefits of a traditional class while maintaining your safety. If you are a teacher, offering Chair Yoga classes to students who need to practice a modified set of postures with a chair will significantly increase your marketability and adaptability in various teaching environments.
Chair Yoga Promotes Student Safety for Diversified Populations
Many different populations of students can benefit enormously from the practice of Chair Yoga. Some specialized groups of students who benefit from a supported practice include older students, students recovering from head injuries, and students healing from surgical procedures.
Some students may be living with long-term, chronic diseases that affect their balance, coordination, and their ability to stand for extended periods. Additionally, larger students may need the assistance of a chair when they first begin practicing to allow them to safely engage in a Yoga practice in a way that works for their bodies.
Making Classes Safe and Accessible
One of the primary underlying intentions of offering Chair Yoga classes is to include groups of students who may not otherwise be able to engage in a regular practice safely or comfortably. If you are an avid Yoga practitioner, you are well aware of how beneficial a regular practice of Yoga is for you, both physically and emotionally.
By offering chair classes to specialized groups of students who would not otherwise be able to engage in a traditional practice of postures, you also provide them the opportunity to experience the same benefits.
The inclusion of non-traditional Yoga students into the practice, through the use of chairs and other props, will help further expand the life-enhancing and energizing effects of Yoga, both on individual students and the community at large.
Reaching Students in Need
Imagine for a moment that you have recently sustained a severe concussion from a car accident. Usually, you would go to your local Yoga studio several times a week to take a multi-level class. However, your difficulty with balance and coordination since your accident made you reticent to take your usual class.
If your teacher were adept at offering modified Chair Yoga postures, you would most likely feel much more comfortable attending your usual class. Furthermore, regularly practicing asanas and pranayama exercises during the healing process will facilitate a greater sense of well-being health, and continuing inclusion into the Yoga community.
The same sense of safety and inclusion is, of course, just as beneficial for other groups of special consideration students, who must engage in a modified practice for various reasons.
Specialist Teaching Credentials
If you are a Yoga teacher, by developing your ability to teach Chair Yoga classes, you also make yourself more marketable. By enhancing your teaching skills with the knowledge of how to lead a group of special consideration students through a safe and effective modified chair class, you will be able to offer courses to a variety of non-traditional students in a wide diversity of environments, including hospitals, senior centers, and specialized cancer recovery programs.
In a complementary manner, if you are teaching a multi-level class and you find that several students would benefit substantially by using a chair during the practice of some of the more challenging postures, by sensitively and appropriately offering modified Chair Yoga poses to those students, you will improve their overall safety level and enjoyment of your Yoga classes.
Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York, where she works as a writer and an academic support specialist.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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