Blog Mental Health Yoga Chair Yoga Chair Yoga for Women Over 60: Overall Benefits and Simple Movements

Chair Yoga for Women Over 60: Overall Benefits and Simple Movements

Many people praise chair yoga for its accessibility and beginner-friendly nature. Let’s face it, using the sturdy chair as the main prop does make the difference and offers a range of benefits as well. 

As we get older, many daily activities are no longer as easy as before; with the possibility of newfound difficulties with standing, sitting, lifting things, and even lying – we whirl in the unstoppable aging process. 

But does it mean seniors cannot engage in new physical activities after 50 or 60? Nonsense, you’re never too old to get moving, especially when it comes to chair yoga. Beginner chair yoga for women over 60 is a gentle and gradual way to improve overall physical and mental well-being.

No special equipment is required, only a sturdy chair, a spacious room, and some comfy clothes. 

If you’re a senior looking for attainable chair yoga home practices, you can explore them in this article. Please note that you should ideally speak with your physical therapist or a yoga instructor before starting a chair yoga program or any other type of yoga routine. 

Let’s discover chair yoga for women over 60: overall benefits and simple movements. 

Does chair yoga really work for seniors?

A variety of studies highlight the positive impact of chair yoga on seniors. Chair yoga can provide seniors with a catalyst to lose weight and reach their health goals through low impact activity. 

Additionally, integrating a chair perpetuates safer practices which ultimately reduces the risk of falls or other injuries. We understand that gushing about chair yoga without presenting any evidence of its efficacy would be misleading. Therefore, we have collected 5 research-backed benefits of chair yoga for seniors:

  1. It may reduce the fear of falls. 
  2. It may relieve joint pain. 
  3. It may improve mobility for people with arthritis. 
  4. It may improve strength and balance. 
  5. It may enhance your quality of life. 
See also
Transform Your Workspace With 10 Chair Exercises For Lower Back Pain

It may reduce the fear of falls 

According to a study of older adults with a median age of 88 years, regular chair yoga might improve mobility and decrease the fear of falls among this age group (5). More research is needed, as this study only included a limited number of participants. 

It should be of no surprise that Chair Yoga For Core Strength and other chair yoga programs decrease the risk of falls by providing a solid external support mechanism, which allows practitioners to expand upon their typical physical limitations and participate in movement patterns that would otherwise not be advisable or possible.. 

It may relieve joint pain

Joint pain is not only common among seniors but younger adults as well, which makes chair yoga practices beneficial for all age ranges. A study from 2016 of older adults with osteoarthritis (OA) found that an 8-week chair yoga program helped reduce joint pain (1). And its positive effects persisted at the 3-month follow-up at the conclusion of the study. 

It may help people with arthritis

A recent study in 2023 with Taiwanese women having knee osteoarthritis showed that regular chair yoga improved functional fitness and could be helpful for people with joint conditions (3).

It may improve strength and balance

One small study on 35 older women under community care suggested that 12 weeks of chair yoga helped improve strength in the arms, hands, and legs. It also included the positive effects of chair yoga on balance, agility, gait, and limb flexibility (4).

It may enhance your quality of life

There is evidence that chair yoga promotes life quality among older adults. A systematic review in 2019 found that this form of exercise is good for physical strength and flexibility, as well as mental well-being in this age group (6).

Please note that if you’re dealing with any health conditions limiting your physical abilities or functional capacity, you should speak to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, including chair yoga. 

See also
10 Yoga Chair Exercises for Seniors To Keep Them Healthy and Fit

Once you’ve been given clearance by your doctor to begin a chair yoga program, it may also be beneficial to begin with a physical therapist or certified yoga instructor to provide you with detailed guidelines on safe chair yoga sessions and effective ways to avoid injury risk.  

Reasons why BetterMe is a safe bet: a wide range of calorie-blasting workouts, finger-licking recipes, 24/7 support, challenges that’ll keep you on your best game, and that just scratches the surface! Start using our app and watch the magic happen.

What is the best chair yoga app for seniors?

Bouncing between versatile fitness sources on the internet may be daunting. All you want to do is focus on one reliable source and use it for all the desirable purposes. If you’re a senior searching for the best chair yoga app, try out BetterMe.

A BetterMe Health Coaching App can become your virtual bestie that helps you define your fitness goals and gradually incorporate health-promoting habits into your exercise routine. This app is perfect for seniors who want to plan their workouts and keep tabs on their progress.

The BetterMe Health Coaching App provides a gentle reminder that it’s never too late to incorporate chair yoga and other accessible physical activities. Everyone can take advantage of the effective exercise programs designed by professional trainers. 

Additionally, the BetterMe app offers downloadable meal plans that suit your preferences: from lactose-free to paleo and vegan. Chair yoga + healthy diet equals a great combo for your mental and physical well-being. 

Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or jazz up your routine with daily practices, BetterMe can help. 

chair yoga for women over 60

What is the best type of yoga for women over 60?

Various yoga practices are well-suited for seniors, each accommodating different needs and limitations. Among these, restorative yoga and Hatha stand out for their emphasis on slow and controlled movements. 

See also
Chair Pilates For Seniors With Chronic Pain: Gentle Exercises To Reduce Discomfort

However, chair yoga emerges as the preferred choice for several compelling reasons, some of which have been outlined earlier in the article. 

Chair yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that does not require prior experience, making it accessible to beginners. It is particularly gentle on the joints, rendering it an ideal option for individuals over the age of 60. 

For those eager to embark on a new chapter in their wellness journey, beginning with these six simple chair yoga exercises can serve as an excellent starting point (2):

Upward Salute Pose

How to perform the pose:

  1. Sit upright in the chair, with your feet planted on the floor, parallel and hip-width apart.
  2. As you inhale, raise both arms toward the ceiling. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and the back straight, without arching.
  3. Exhale and lower your arms.

Seated Mountain Pose

How to perform the pose:

  1. Sit in a chair bringing the soles of the feet to the floor.
  2. Keep your ankles and knees aligned.
  3. Inhale to draw your shoulders forward and up.
  4. Exhale to roll the shoulders down and back.
  5. Repeat as desired.

Read more: 21 Day Chair Yoga: Reasons To Add This Challenge To Your Routine

Seated Cat-Cow Pose

How to perform the pose:

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair, with the back straight and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands on the knees.
  3. Inhale, lift the chest, and move the shoulders back, looking upward.
  4. Exhale and round the back, bringing the chin toward the body.
  5. Repeat as desired.

chair yoga for women over 60  

Seated Pigeon Pose

How to perform the pose:

  1. Sit straight on the chair, with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring the left ankle up onto the right thigh, keeping the left knee and ankle aligned.
  3. Hold this pose for a few seconds. Bend forward from the hips if you want a deeper stretch.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
See also
Chair Yoga For Seniors: 10 Poses To Improve Strength, Flexibility, And Balance

Downward-Facing Dog with Chair

How to perform the pose:

  1. Stand in front of a chair, with your feet at a hip distance apart.
  2. Bending from the hips, place your hands on the seat of the chair with your back straight.
  3. Step the feet back until you fully extend your arms. Keep the heels planted on the ground. If it seems too difficult, use a rolled-up towel to support the heels, or bend the knees.
  4. Hold this pose for as long as it feels comfortable.
  5. Then step the feet forward again and raise the upper body to a standing position.

Chair spinal twist

How to perform: 

  • Sit straight on your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands at your sides.
  • Place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh just above your knee.
  • Exhale and slowly rotate your torso to the right. Keep your hips stationary only allowing your chest, shoulders, and head to turn. 
  • Hold for several seconds and continue to twist deeper into the pose.
  • Return to center. 
  • Repeat the twist in the opposite direction.

If you feel any pain during the pose execution, modify the pose to stay within the confines of your pain-free range of motion. Don’t forget to breathe throughout each pose and maintain the proper form. 

Whether you’re using Chair Yoga Exercises for Weight Loss or other purposes, remember to listen to your body and stop the activity when desired. 

How often should a 60-year-old do yoga?

Ideally, you should aim for a consistent practice, a few times a week. Shorter, more frequent sessions may be more beneficial than longer, less frequent sessions. According to one study, people who practiced yoga for 12 minutes at least five times a week improved their bone density (7).

See also
Chair Yoga For Hips Relaxation

If you’re a 60-year-old woman who hasn’t done chair yoga before, start with beginner-friendly exercises from this article or the BetterMe app. 

There is also nothing wrong with beginning your yoga sessions in the yoga studio under the yoga instructor’s supervision. Do what works best for you. 

Most seniors will find that the gentler pace, external support of the chair, and low-impact nature of chair yoga allows them to participate in the activity without notable stress to their joints. 

BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!

FAQs

  • Is it OK to do chair yoga everyday?

Yes, it is okay for most people to do chair yoga every day. It’s generally very low-impact and suitable for all fitness levels and ages. It’s also gentle for your joints and back as you’ll be using the support of a sturdy chair. However, it is always advisable to consult with your doctor before beginning a chair yoga program. 

  • How many times a week should you do chair yoga?

The answer to this question differs based on individual needs, goals, and preferences. The good news is that yoga is very adaptable: if you are in good health and feel capable of daily sessions, you can likely do so without feeling burned out. Conversely, if you prefer to incorporate rest days between your chair yoga sessions, that is equally acceptable. The key is to maintain a consistent practice schedule. Even brief sessions can yield significant benefits, provided they are performed regularly.

  • Which is better for seniors: Pilates or yoga?

Both Pilates and yoga are beneficial for seniors. Which is most beneficial for you will depend on your goals and preferences. If you’re looking for a more fast-paced practice, choose Pilates. If you’re into a slower, gentler form of movement, yoga is your perfect choice. By the way, there is nothing wrong with mixing them and reaping the benefits of both. 

The Bottom Line

In this article, you have learned about chair yoga for women over 60: overall benefits and simple movements. Chair yoga for women over 60 involves low-impact movements performed on or near a sturdy chair.

This type of yoga is an effective option for seniors offering a range of benefits, some of which we have discovered today: reduced fear of falls, relieved joint pain, enhanced life quality, improved strength and balance, and improved mobility for people with arthritis. 

Seniors who are just starting their chair yoga practice can benefit from the BetterMe Health Coaching App – the on-the-go source for all the newbies and advanced practitioners who want to promote their health. With the app, you will uncover all kinds of activities, including chair yoga poses for seniors, designed by certified trainers. 

Seniors can practice chair yoga daily as long as it feels comfortable. However, doing weekly sessions three to five times per week for 10-15 minutes is also great. 

If you have underlying health conditions, consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. 

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Chair Yoga on Pain and Physical Function Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Lower Extremity Osteoarthritis (2016, onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  2. Chair yoga for seniors: Poses and how to try (2023, medicalnewstoday.com)
  3. Effect of Chair Yoga Therapy on Functional Fitness and Daily Life Activities among Older Female Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis in Taiwan: A Quasi-Experimental Study (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. Effectiveness of Chair Yoga for Improving the Functional Fitness and Well-being of Female Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Low Physical Activities (2019, lww.com)
  5. Safety and feasibility of modified chair-yoga on functional outcome among elderly at risk for falls (2012, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. The effects of yoga compared to active and inactive controls on physical function and health related quality of life in older adults- systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (2019, biomedcentral.com)
  7. Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)