chair yoga

10 Chair Yoga Positions For The Elderly

As we grow older, it becomes more and more challenging for us to keep a healthy lifestyle through regular exercises such as running, weight-lifting, and aerobics. Moreover, age-related diseases can make exercise more difficult. However, not exercising at all will lead us to a sedentary lifestyle which will only worsen our health condition. Fortunately, chair yoga is an innovative, affordable, and efficient exercise style for us! For the elderly, chair yoga is one of the best low-impact exercises recommended by health professionals. My Grandfather is a big fan of chair yoga himself!

chair yoga

Essential benefits of chair yoga

Low impact on joints

Improves flexibility and balance

Improves pain management

Improves blood circulation

Combats depression and anxiety

Promotes independence and well being

chair yoya

Essential chair yoga equipment needed

An arm-less and stable chair

A flat and leveled surface for your chair

Flexible and comfortable clothing

Space to fully extend your limbs

An experienced instructor or friend for safety

Top 10 Chair Yoga Positions

Overhead Stretch

chair yoga


Begin in a seated position, facing forward with your arms down by your sides. Take a long, deep breath in and slowly stretch your arms upward to the ceiling. Hold this position for a moment, and bring your arms back downward with a long exhale.

Neck Stretch


Sit up straight on your chair, and do not let your back touch the back of your chair. Extend your neck slowly upward so you feel your head rising towards the ceiling. While holding the base of your chair with your right hand, slowly reach upwards with your left hand to hold your left temple. Take a deep breath, and upon exhalation, gently dip your left ear towards your left shoulder without bending your back or raising your right shoulder. Take several slow breaths in and out in this position, before alternating this stretch to the opposite side.

Reverse arm hold

chair yoga


Begin this pose in a seated position with your back straight and apart from the back of the chair. While you inhale deeply, reach your arms straight out to your sides at a low and wide angle. Exhale slowly and reach your hands behind your back, bending your elbows slightly. Arch your back slightly to feel the stretch in your shoulders, and take several breaths in and out.

Chair pigeon

chair yoga

Sit upright with your back away from the back of the chair and facing forward. Gently raise your left ankle to rest on top of your right knee or thigh and feel free to use your hand to assist in case of difficulty. Inhale deeply, flex your left foot slightly, and bend forward upon exhale. After several deep breaths, sit up straight. Gently switch sides, and repeat the above steps.

Seated forward bend

chair yoga

Begin this exercise sitting up straight with your knees touching and your feet on the floor. Take a deep breath in. Upon exhaling, slowly bend forward, feeling your back extend one slowly. Lean forward as far as you can without feeling discomfort. Hold this position for several deep breaths before returning to an upright position.

Eagle arms

chair yoga

Sit upright on your chair and stretch your arms straight in front of you. Cross your left arm over your right arm, and bend your elbows to bring your forearms together. Interlace your fingers and raise your elbows slightly, arching your back a little. Hold this position for several deep breaths. Upon completion, switch to your right arm over your left arm.

Chair warrior

chair yoga

Begin this pose facing forward with your arms down by your side at a wide and low angle. Take a deep breath and slowly raise your arms straight above your head. Hold this pose for several breaths before lowering your arms back down to your sides.

Cat-cow stretch

chair yoga


Sit at the edge of your chair with your back as straight as it can be. Inhale and gently arch your back as far as it is comfortable for the “cow” portion of the stretch, holding the position for three to five breaths. Then bring your back to its original position, and invert the stretch for the “cat” position. Your shoulders will be directly above your hips, but your back will curve into a forward arch. Hold this position for several breaths before returning to your original seated position.

Chair spinal twist

chair yoga

Begin this pose sitting sideways on your chair, with your knees over the right side of the chair and the back of the chair next to your right arm. Make sure your back is straight, and your body is apart from the back of the chair. Hold the back of the chair with both hands, inhale deeply, and slowly turn your body toward the back of the chair while exhaling. Hold this position for several breaths before returning to the original position. After this pose is complete, gently switch sides and repeat the above steps.

Seated mountain

chair yoga

Start this pose sitting on the front half of your chair with a straight back. Bend your knees at 90-degree angles with your knees above your ankles and a small space between your knees. Inhale slowly and roll your shoulders downward upon exhaling. Hold the pose for several deep breaths.

I am dutifully engaged in assisting my grandfather in his daily chair yoga routine. You should share these fabulous techniques with the seniors in your family too! Please share your experiences and comments below.

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