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Chair Yoga for Seniors: Reduce Pain and Improve Health

Chair yoga for seniors helps frail & less mobile older adults get the health benefits of yoga: reduced pain, lower blood pressure, reduced stress & anxiety.

By Connie Chow, Founder at DailyCaring

Chair yoga safely improves senior health

Chair yoga is a great way for older adults to get the wonderful health benefits of yoga. It also makes yoga accessible to more people.

Staying seated while doing yoga means that even frail seniors or those who aren’t flexible can safely do the exercises.

The benefits of chair yoga for older adults includes loosening and stretching painful muscles, reducing chronic pain, decreasing stress, and improving circulation.

It also reduces anxiety, helps lower blood pressure, protects joints, and builds strength and balance.

We found a fantastic 30 minute routine of gentle chair yoga for seniors that’s free to watch on YouTube.

Instructor Sherry Zak Morris makes the class fun and lively and explains the benefits of chair yoga movements.

We share customization and safety tips and give an overview of the essential chair yoga poses included in this 30 minute at-home chair yoga routine.


Customize at-home workouts for their abilities and range of motion

The best part of an at-home yoga routine is that it’s easy to adapt to your older adult’s abilities.

They should skip any movements that cause pain or are too difficult.

And if your older adult tires easily, do only the easier parts of the routine rather than the full half hour.

Safety and comfort are the top priority

The number one priority is to keep your older adult safe and comfortable.

None of these movements should hurt.

Make sure your older adult moves slowly and gently and pays attention to their body. It’s better to do a little less rather than risk injury.

Older adults should follow the instructor’s movements only as far as is comfortable.

Even if they only do a fraction of the range of motion or have to skip some movements, they’ll still benefit from the exercises.

Over time, their flexibility and strength will improve and they’ll be able to do more and more.

Chair yoga for seniors: a 30 minute routine

You might want to do this 30 minute routine of gentle chair yoga along with your older adult so they can watch your movements.

It’s a fun activity to do together and you’ll get the health benefits too!

The only equipment that’s needed is a sturdy chair that allows your older adult’s feet to touch the floor.

An optional accessory is a belt, strap, or long hand towel to aid in stretching.

In case you want to skip around, we’ve noted the time markers for each section of the routine.

[30 seconds in video] Warm up poses for heat and circulation

This is a great way to warm up the body, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.

This section lasts 10 minutes and could be a nice short routine in itself.

[9 min 50 sec in video] Standing poses for balance and strength

These yoga poses are done while holding on to the back of the chair.

If your older adult isn’t strong or balanced enough to do this section safely, it might be safer to skip it.

[14 min 45 sec in video] Lower body poses for flexibility

In this section, a belt or strap helps with stretching – any long belt, strap, small towel, or sturdy rope will do.

Even if your older adult doesn’t use a belt, they can still benefit from the movements.

[29 min 25 sec in video] Shavasana

Shavasana is a restful pose usually done at the end of a yoga class. Just relax and focus on breathing slowly and deeply.

[31 min 25 sec in video] Closing

Instructor Sherry wraps up the class.

If you prefer DVDs

The above videos are free to watch on YouTube from any device. But if you’d prefer workouts that you can play on your TV, check out these DVD options:

Recommended for you:

Author: Connie Chow, founder at DailyCaring, was a hands-on caregiver for her grandmother for 20 years – until grandma was 101 years old! Connie has an MBA from the University of Southern California and has been featured on major news outlets, including WJCL22 Savannah (ABC), KRON4 San Francisco, NBC10 Philadelphia, 23ABC Bakersfield, KAGS Texas (NBC), and KVAL13 Oregon (CBS). She has spoken at Institute on Aging, written for Sixty and Me, and been quoted in top publications, including U.S. News & World Report, HuffPost, and Society of Senior Advisors.

This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain some affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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