Your First Chair Yoga Class in a Senior Center


Chair Yoga has become more popular in senior centers, but can also be found in nursing homes, physical rehabilitation units, adult day care centers, and some Yoga studios. However, the vast majority of us will attend a Chair Yoga class in a senior center.

You should consult your family physician and get the "go ahead," before starting any exercise program. If possible, visit, or call the senior center, to find out about their policies and general guidelines. When it is your first class, it is a good idea to get into the front row, so you can clearly see and hear your Yoga teacher.

When you need extra advice, or have a particular health condition, you should talk to your teacher before, or after, the class. Your Yoga teacher will give advice and show modifications, throughout the class, but when you have questions that concern your safety and health, you should ask right away. This is not something that should be put on the "back burner."

Within the senior center staff structure, there are volunteers, paid staff, and management. They are all extremely helpful. Seek help and you will find an abundance of it. If the business world ran like this, we would all behappy customers.

You don't have to bring any special equipment to a Chair Yoga class. Most senior centers have more than enough chairs to accommodate everyone. Some Chair Yoga classes do use mats, as well as chairs, but this is more the exception than the rule. If the center uses mats, in part of the class, you will have to take your shoes off.

Most senior centers have hard floors with tile over cement. In this case, you should wear good sneakers, tennis shoes, or aerobic shoes. This will allow your shoes to grip the floor, to prevent potential slipping accidents. It also gives your feet and joints some cushion from the hard surface.

There is no need to buy special clothes. You should wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your movement. Don't wear anything tight around the waist. This will bother your stomach during some of the bending or twisting movements.

You should never push or strain into a Yoga posture. This can cause a variety of injuries from very slight to serious. Therefore, stay in the "comfort zone." No one really knows how your body feels, except you.

If the class is large, it will be held in a large room, like a dining hall. Expect some distractions, with people coming, and going, from different activities, within the senior center. This is not ideal for meditation, but the physical rewards, and new friends you gain, will make up for it.

? Copyright 2005 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications