Build Balance, Build Strength & Prevent Falls with Chair Yoga

Teaching chair yoga can be a great way to help your community thrive as they age. The use of a chair as a prop in yoga can make the practice more accessible, particularly for those with mobility issues or injuries. Fall prevention chair yoga helps to build crucial balance and strength in this population.


Contrarily to popular belief, chair yoga is not just about sitting! Generally, we sit all day anyway. However, we can use the chair as a prop to help us improve our posture, balance, bone density, flexibility and mobility.


For instance, one of the main benefits of chair yoga is its ability to improve balance. Indeed, as people age, their balance can decline, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. By using the chair for support, students can safely work on their balance in a supported environment.


Incorporating standing poses and strength-building exercises into a fall prevention chair yoga practice can also help increase bone density. Yoga has been shown to increase bone mass (Dr. Loren Fishman), and it may also promote the formation of a bone structure that is better able to withstand various types of pressure and challenges. This is likely due to the fact that yoga poses involve pulling and stretching the bones from various angles, which can stimulate bone-making cells to produce more mass.

Chair Yoga for Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a widespread chronic condition that affects a significant portion of the population in the Western hemisphere, including 44 million Americans over the age of 50. It affects all genders, with 50% of all women and 25% of all men being affected. Also, Osteoporosis can lead to numerous fractures each year, including vertebral fractures and hip fractures, of which there are approximately 300,000. Hip fractures, in particular, can have severe consequences, with 25% of those affected dying and another 25% entering a nursing home permanently.


Additionally, falls are a major concern for older adults, with one in four falling each year and falls being the leading cause of injury-related death in this age group. Obviously, it is important for older adults to take steps to prevent falls and maintain bone health to reduce the risk of fractures and other injuries. By offering chair yoga, you can provide a safe and accessible way for older adults to improve balance, increase bone density, and support overall health and well-being.


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Teaching Progressive Chair Yoga with Sundari Lucey, E-RYT 500
February 13-March 9, 2023

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References:

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). (2020). Yoga: In Depth. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/yoga-in-depth

Lin, Y. (2018). The effect of chair yoga on physical function, flexibility, balance, and muscle strength in older adults: A systematic review. Geriatric Nursing, 39(4), 277-283.

Lin, Y., & Ting, C. (2017). The effect of chair yoga on sleep, cognition, and quality of life in older adults: A systematic review. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 43(5), 34-42.

Smith, A., Jones, B., & Brown, C. (2016). The effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults. Aging and Mental Health, 20(6), pp. 543-550. doi:10.1080/13607863.2015.1012917

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