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Why Do Chair Yoga?

Why Do Chair Yoga?

Why do Chair Yoga?

Pull up a chair and join us in our Chair Yoga Class in Mississauga.  We are always looking at images on social media from the yoga industry that make us think we need to get into pretzel like shapes to do yoga, or be upside down to do yoga. Often these types of poses are achievable by a very small percentage of people practicing yoga and may even be contraindicated for most people practicing yoga. So, let’s get honest and real.

Anybody can do yoga. If you can breathe, then you can do yoga. 

Here are some reasons why chair yoga is for you:

Chair makes yoga accessible to all

The purpose of yoga is to have a strong and pain free body that can sit still for long periods for meditation and spiritual purposes.  This is evidenced in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 1.2 “Yogas citta vritti nirodhah,” meaning “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.”  In today’s age we sit in front of our desk for work for several hours, wouldn’t it helpful if we had a pain free body which will increase our productivity.  You do not need to stand on your head to do yoga or get into a wheel pose to be called flexible. These sort of images can be intimidating to many people. Most of yoga poses can be performed on a chair making it accessible to people with limited mobility, injuries, or knee discomfort.  

Chairs yoga can improve your posture

Have you ever seen a person practicing yoga with poor posture? Doing chair yoga can significantly improve your posture over time. Both your posture and breathing will improve.

Chair Yoga helps relieve chronic pain

Chair yoga can help people with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of conditions. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine at Harvard University found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class improved mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Also a meta-analysis of 17 studies done at Harvard University found that more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia and osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine. Practicing chair yoga also improved mood and psychosocial well-being.

You do not have to get down on your knees

Surprising lot of able-bodied people get nervous about yoga as they are unable to get down on the floor. Chair yoga is a great practice to explore.

Chair yoga can improve range of motion

The quality and range of movement one can achieve from sitting in a chair is surprising. Even fit people can benefit from this slow movement as their bodies would not have moved in this way making it a beneficial practice for them. Not so fit people who feel a little disconnected from their bodies can experience yoga in a non-threatening way by practicing yoga on a chair.

Chair yoga is an excellent prop

You can stand right beside it for balancing poses, or you can sit on it, or you may place your foot on it for some hip opening poses. If you struggle with a balancing pose like the Half Moon pose, try using a chair instead of blocks. Chair yoga can be a beautiful and freeing practice making your pose steady and comfortable as written in the Yoga Sutra text 2.46 sthiram sukham asanam.

Chair yoga in Mississauga is offered at Mind to Body Yoga and Fitness. Check our schedule here. If you are unsure of which classes to take, please feel free to contact us at any time. Haven’t given our studio a try yet? Sign Up for unlimited access with our $65 – 30 day intro offer or check our promotions page for current promotions. Or just drop by to chat about what options might work best for you. We are so proud of our studio and will continue to build and develop a positive community that supports the health and wellness of our clients. We hope to see you soon!

Why Practice Yoga at Mind to Body Yoga Studio in Mississauga

Why Practice Yoga at Mind to Body Yoga Studio in Mississauga

Why Practice Yoga at Mind to Body Yoga Studio in Mississauga

Do you feel tempted to practice yoga at home on your laptop, or even online or YouTube?  Then, this blog is for you. 

The traditional drop-in yoga classes still maybe the best place to practice yoga for many reasons. Doing yoga at home may appear convenient, but it can be far less effective and could potentially lead to injury.   We would like to share some reasons why you should take yoga classes at a yoga studio:

1. Sense of Community

Our yoga studio is not just a spacious place with cork floors, but it’s also a centre for personal and spiritual growth. By attending yoga classes here, you're joining a large and far reaching community of passionate teachers, committed students and yoga scholars. In addition to classes, we also offer workshops; retreats and yoga teacher trainings, all of which are meant to bring people closer together and add value to your practice.

As more and more technology gets established, it’s easy to see its isolating effects and the current loneliness epidemic that plagues the modern person. Unfortunately even doing the beautiful practice of yoga alone at home, fails to foster a sense of connection with others.

In Buddhism, the sangha, or the sense of community, is one of the few treasures that practitioners look toward for guidance and take refuge in during difficult times. By coming together in the sacred space of a yoga studio, we keep each other accountable and support each other, even in the most difficult of postures and/or times.

2. Hands on Assists

The tricky thing about yoga is that your body doesn't want to have correct alignment. Your body wants to be a couch potato (and sometimes eat that entire bag of potato chips). As a result, practicing yoga alone has a potential to put your body into a position more prone to injury, and also reinforce bad habits. An experienced teacher is necessary to correct any misalignment in the poses, for both beginners and even advanced practitioners.

Yoga teachers at our studio are not simply following a script; they are continually scanning the room and examining bodies to see where students need correction or adjustment. Our yoga teachers customize their verbal instructions to fit the practicing bodies in the room.

3. Insight on Yoga Practice

In our yoga studio setting, before, after or during the yoga class, students are invited to talk to the teacher and ask questions. And although the yoga teacher may not be a sage or a guru fresh off the ashram, they're still a source of valuable knowledge and wisdom.

Whether you have a certain injury or pain in a specific part of your body or simply a desire to gain strength or flexibility in specific area, your teacher is there to provide insight into the problem, or possible solutions to add to your practice.

Unlike your school teachers or university professors who teach you for a semester or two, the relationship you have with your yoga teacher can built and grow over many years.  Also yoga teachers make invaluable friendships with their students.  It’s a source of joy for them to see their students grow in their yoga practice.

4. Focus on Practice

Unfortunately, it can be very easy to slack off in your home yoga practice. There are certainly plenty of distractions at home.  You wake up in the morning and roll out your yoga mat, pop into a Downward Dog, only to notice your toenails need some trimming and on your way to the bathroom to get your nail clippers you notice your cats need to be fed, and then your phone pings with five important emails that need your attention.

By stepping away from distractions at home and joining others in our dedicated space for yoga, your personal practice gets strengthened as well.

5. Mindfulness and peace

While practicing yoga with others can bring up some unwanted emotions such as self-judgement, it also fortunately makes you aware of how your mind is always trying to sabotage you.  When we lose our balance in a Tree Pose, while the person next to us is perhaps barely breaking a sweat in a handstand, a lot of harsh judgement can creep up, comparisons and a desire to compete can come up.

Fortunately, these difficult moments during practicing yoga in a class environment can provide the perfect time to practice mindfulness.  Mindfulness practice can help us recognize the present moment experience from a stance that is both nonjudgmental and nonreactive. It helps us accept ourselves just as we are.

By letting go of the judgements that can arise from comparison to others, we bring awareness, mindfulness and peace in our daily lives.

6. Healing Touch

Although Savasana is already pretty blissful, one of the guilty pleasures of practicing yoga at a yoga studio is receiving the healing touch of a yoga teacher in Savasna – getting a boost of oxytocin.

 

Do you still feel you have reasons to do yoga at home? Of course! Any yoga anywhere is 100% worth it.  Haven’t given our studio a try yet? Sign Up for unlimited access with our 30 day trial offer for $65. You can always check out our pricing and promotional offers, or just drop by to chat about what options might work best for you. We are so proud of our studio and will continue to build and develop a positive community that supports the health and wellness of our clients. We hope to see you soon!

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