Yoga is a practice that has been around for centuries. The tradition began in India, where practitioners use it to connect deeper to themselves and the world around them. Yoga is a series of postures that aim to enhance health and offers practitioners a “moving meditation.” In the past few decades, yoga has made a powerful debut in the United States. Chances are, you have either tried traditional or chair yoga or know someone who swears by it. We, too, at Vicar’s Landing, have caught the yoga bug and swear by its health benefits!
Many claim that traditional yoga in the United States is very different from Indian yoga in that it is focused more on physical health rather than reaching “the divine,” which is the spiritual aspect of Indian yoga. This claim, however, is skewed by the fact that it fails to acknowledge the meditative and emotional benefits that American yoga offers, in addition to being great for your physical health.
Vicar’s Landing offers weekly scheduled classes to meet your fitness level both in traditional yoga and chair yoga. Trying one of these will help you understand the benefits of the practice and will give you useful tips for helping your joints feel better and alleviating tension in the body.
Chair yoga is a popular variation for many that require the support of a seat to perform some of the yoga postures. Chair yoga is a great way to try a new fitness and meditative practice at your own pace. The “asanas,” the traditional name for yoga postures, practiced in chair yoga are all aimed at helping you increase your flexibility and mobility. Some are practiced by sitting in the chair, while in others, you will only use the chair as a support for standing postures. But, of course, you can take the postures at your own pace. Yoga is about helping you feel good, not having you contort yourself as much as possible to get the pose right. If you’re doing yoga, you’re doing it right!
Yoga’s strength and mobility benefits are all due to the unique postures that chair yoga incorporates. Certain spinal twists, when done properly, can help alleviate back tension and improve posture. Side stretches can help open up your hip joints, increase core strength, and create space in the arm and shoulder joints. In addition, the community aspect of practicing yoga with others is crucial. Chair yoga classes bring together groups of people who are looking to improve their physical health and incorporate more meditative energy into their lives. Oftentimes, the people that you practice yoga with end up becoming some of your closest friends.
With 2020 in full swing, you likely have a few New Year’s goals that involve building community and improving fitness and health. Traditional or chair yoga is an excellent way to achieve those goals. So, though it may be an activity that you haven’t considered before, we strongly encourage you to give this low-impact fitness class a visit. Get ready to start feeling better in your body and enjoying life with increased mobility!