Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Chair Yoga?
Chair Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that is practiced while sitting on a chair, or using the chair as support.
What Should I Expect at a San Diego Chair Yoga (SDCY) Class?
Class begins in a seated, guided meditation to relax your body & mind. You will practice Yogic Breathing, which teaches you how to use your breath as a tool to relax more and stay in postures longer and easier. You will also set an inspiring intention for practice (i.e. being patient with yourself, letting go of negative self beliefs, accepting where you are today). Class starts with gentle, simple movements and progressively works toward deeper postures. You will stay seated for the entire 45 minute class. SDCY classes include both Vinyasa Flows and Restorative Postures. Vinyasa Flows sync breath to movement; you flow one breath to one movement to build strength and mobility (i.e. inhale mountain pose, exhale forward fold, inhale halfway lift, exhale forward fold). Restorative postures you hold for a few minutes to allow your muscles to fully open, and thus increase flexibility and work into your muscles' deep connective tissues. This fusion of Vinyasa and Restorative allows you to maximize all the benefits Yoga has to offer. Each class will vary in sequence and postures so you will never get bored!
What Should I Wear To Class?
You should wear comfortable clothing (avoid restrictive clothing, such as jeans) and women should avoid wearing skirts and low cut shirts based on their personal comfort level. You may want to go barefoot or wear socks for postures that focus on articulation of the feet and ankles. Most students wear a comfortable t-shirt and yoga pants or sweatpants.
What Should I Bring To Class?
No yoga mats are needed and chairs are provided. It is suggested to bring a water bottle. Some students perspire in the summer months and like to bring a towel if the room is not air conditioned.
Why Should I Try Chair Yoga?
Chair Yoga is a great way to exercise with minimal pain and discomfort. It is low impact and gets your blood flowing in only 45 minutes... and it's fun! Chair Yoga increases your flexibility, strength, muscle mass, and range of mobility. Improve your chronic pain and help heal any injuries. Chair Yoga has also been proven to enhance your proprioception, which is your awareness of where your body is in space; this will help you to coordinate your movements with accuracy, prevent falls, and have greater control over your body and movement. Chair Yoga also supports a healthy mental wellbeing; the breathwork helps with stress management, pain control, and pain management. You will learn how to calm and focus your mind, while learning how to cope with the pains of aging, an illness, or a condition you may have.
How Many Times a Week Should I Practice Chair Yoga?
Chair Yoga is meant to be practiced at least three times a week, but you will experience benefits even if you only practice once a week. The more you practice, the better your results, but it is important to set realistic goals for yourself. Helpful Tip: Try a few postures before bedtime or right when you wake up to energize for the day!
Is Chair Yoga For Me?
Chair Yoga is great for any gender or age. It is particularly appealing to senior citizens, handicapped, or disabled individuals, as it is a very accessible form of yoga and exercise. Chair Yoga is a great introduction to yoga and a great way to stretch and strengthen your body. If you don't use it... you lose it! No matter where you are in your life at the moment, you can stay limber and mobile for many more years to come, we've had students age 30 to 92! It is NEVER too late to start reversing the effects of aging and stress. Start today and try a class! Every student that has stayed committed to SDCY classes has noticed changes in their body and their life!
Can I Practice Chair Yoga If I Have Chronic Pain or a Medical Condition?
It is always important to discuss Chair Yoga with your physician before trying class. Chair Yoga is extremely beneficial for alignment, stretching, and strengthening and can prove to be very helpful for chronic and temporary conditions. Please consult with your physician and notify your instructor before class of any physical ailments.
I'm Not Flexible, Can I Do Chair Yoga?
Yoga is actually most beneficial for those of you who are not flexible. The most common feedback SDCY members have is they are now able to touch their toes for the first time in years! Come as you are and enjoy the process of doing something good for your body and mind!
Can Men Do Yoga?
Men can absolutely do yoga. Yoga has been practiced by men since it was first created, when it was exclusively a man's activity. Men tend to have larger muscle mass than women, thus tighter muscles. With this in mind...it is actually more important for men to take yoga than women!
I'm Afraid To Try Yoga...Words of Wisdom?
Most SDCY members experienced their first yoga class with us...so they have been where you are too! We all provide a very nurturing and supportive environment to welcome new students, whether you are a practiced mat yogi, chair yogi, or neither. We create more of a family than a community; many of our students become very close friends and we welcome new students with warm, open arms. The instructor's purpose is to safely guide you through a positive experience, so no fear is needed! Multiple variations and options for each posture will be available to you, and you are always welcome to ask questions as it is an interactive class. You are encouraged to only do what feels right for you, all postures and exercises are optional. Still nervous? That is perfectly normal! Feel free to give us a call and I'm more than happy to answer any of your questions.
What is Yoga?
"Yoga" means "union". It is the union of body, mind, and soul. Yoga includes breath control, meditation, and specific movements of the body to improve health and increase relaxation. It is as much a mental and spiritual practice as it is a physical practice. Mentally, Yoga allows you to practice quieting your mind, staying calm in challenging moments, and choosing positive thoughts. Spiritually, the world has taught us to believe that external attainments can give us fulfillment. Yoga allows you to direct your awareness inward, so that you can stop striving toward something that appears to always be just out of reach, and we can focus on being rather than doing, and awareness rather than action. Peace and happiness come from within.
Is Yoga a Religious Practice?
Yoga is not a religion, nor does it follow any particular religious beliefs. Yoga is a philosophy of life and a science of the Self that does not require you to adhere to any faith or religious rituals. You are not asked to believe in God, attend any worships, or learn any prayers. Yoga provides a way of viewing yourself through love and peace; it provides the means to overcome suffering and achieve self-realization, no matter what belief systems you may choose. Yoga focuses on universal experiences of celebrating one's life, the beauty of each moment, the inherent goodness in your heart, and coming into harmony with your world.
How is Chair Yoga Different From Mat Yoga?
In a Mat Yoga class you are moving through postures that may be reclined, seated, standing, inverted, or require balancing. While Mat Yoga classes range in levels from beginner to advanced, they all require you to get up and down on your mat. Chair Yoga is seated for the duration of class (more advanced classes may incorporate postures that are standing, inverted, or require balance, however you always have the chair for support and stabilization). Chair Yoga is also a much more gentle form of yoga that is easier on the body and joints.
I Can Do Mat Yoga, Why Should I Try Chair Yoga?
When the need to balance and stabilize is removed, you can go much deeper into each posture. The instructor will offer many variations, from beginner to advanced. You might find yourself surprised at how challenging Chair Yoga can be in the most advanced variations of postures! Also, just as using yoga blocks and straps can deepen your stretches, so can a chair.
How is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Fitness Classes?
Other kinds of fitness and stretching is purely physical. Yoga connects movement and fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of your breath. By connecting mind, body, and breath, you can focus your awareness inward. This internal awareness allows you to learn your habitual thought patterns and become more aware of your experience from breath to breath. Your life will begin to slow down and your mind will become more flexible.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is not the absence of thought, but the ability to release thoughts as quickly as they enter your mind. It is the practice of allowing all thoughts to enter your mind and observing them without judgment. The easier it is to release judgment of your thoughts, the less attached you become to your thoughts. Thus, you become more able to guide your thoughts in positive, helpful directions, rather than bringing yourself down.