Chair Yoga practices for you.
Similar to a mat yoga practice, chair yoga can help you to discover how to: #BuildBones #IncreaseStrength #BeLessStiff #EaseBackPain #LowerBloodPressure #GainFlexibility #BetterJointMobility #ImproveCirculation and more! Come do these Youtube Videos and arrange for a private one on one or small group class! Yoga With Gail. 409-727-3177
Questions? Complaints? Comments? Complements? I want to know
Five minutes of yogic sleep added to chair yoga in Nederland, Texas. Here’s what my students said!
Here’s the link to my yoga nidra that I posted up on SoundCloud. Enjoy! This one is a bit long than what I use in my chair yoga class.
Yoga Reduces Fatigue In Multiple Sclerosis Patients, OHSU Study Finds
Corporate Chair Yoga Classes – to demonstrated the benefit of a regular chair yoga or mat yoga class with Gail Pickens-Barger. 409-727-3177 to inquire about a presentation for your company. In-person or online.
ScienceDaily (June 10, 2004) — PORTLAND, Ore. — Just six months of yoga significantly reduces fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis, but it has no effect on alertness and cognitive function, says a new Oregon Health & Science University study.
The study, published June 8 in the journal Neurology, found that yoga is as good as a traditional aerobic exercise program in improving measures of fatigue, a common and potentially disabling symptom of MS. It was the first randomized, controlled trial of yoga in people with MS.
A parallel study by the same OHSU authors, presented in April at the 56th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, found that cognitive function does not improve among healthy seniors in a six-month yoga program or exercise class, but physical health and quality of life appear to be enhanced.
The MS study was not designed to determine the impact of yoga on the disease itself, said the study’s lead author, Barry Oken, M.D., professor of neurology and behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine. Rather, it was intended to determine the effect of yoga and aerobic exercise on cognitive function, fatigue, mood and quality of life among people with MS.
“There are some claims out there that yoga helps MS itself, that it can decrease the number of lesions” in the brain caused by MS, said Oken, director of the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders (ORCCAMIND) at OHSU. “I’m not sure that that’s not the case, because stress may have an impact on MS. But that was not what we were trying to show.”
Study co-author Dennis Bourdette, M.D., professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Oregon, said yoga was studied because many people with MS already are using it and reporting benefits.
“We wanted to see whether or not it was beneficial when studied scientifically and how it compared with a type of exercise that physicians are more comfortable recommending — exercise on a stationary bicycle supervised by a physical therapist,” said Bourdette, chairman of the School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and associate director of ORCCAMIND.
An earlier survey of nearly 2,000 MS patients in Oregon and southwest Washington found about 30 percent of respondents tried yoga. Of those, 57 percent reported it to be “very beneficial,” Bourdette noted. Indeed, many chapters of the National MS Society sponsor yoga programs.
“So it is used fairly commonly, and I believe with the publication of our results it will gain even more acceptance and use,” he said. The study “also clearly demonstrates that yoga postures can be modified for use among people with MS who have disabilities caused by their condition and that yoga can be done safely and effectively.”
The study examined 69 MS patients in three groups: one taking weekly Iyengar yoga classes along with home practice; another taking a weekly exercise class using a stationary bicycle along with home exercise; and a third group placed on a waiting list to serve as a control. Participants were monitored for attention, alertness, mood, anxiety, fatigue and overall quality of life.
The yoga classes were offered once a week for 90 minutes. Participants were taught up to 19 poses, each held for 10 seconds to 30 seconds with rest periods of 30 seconds to a minute. They also performed breathing exercises to promote concentration and relaxation, as well as progressive relaxation, visualization, and meditation techniques. And the daily home practice was strongly encouraged.
The MS study’s aerobic exercise component was similar to the yoga intervention, with one class per week plus home exercise. It consisted of bicycling on recumbent or dual-action stationary bicycles, and each class began and ended with about five minutes of stretching. Participants were given exercise bikes to use at home and were encouraged to use them outside of the weekly class.
While the yoga and aerobic exercise programs produced no significant changes in alertness, attention or other measures of cognitive function in MS patients compared with the waiting-list group, the study found there were improvements in two fatigue measurement tests.
“We think they’re equally beneficial for symptoms of fatigue from MS,” Oken said of yoga and aerobic exercise.
The study cautioned that the reasons behind the reduction in MS fatigue symptoms are unclear. The socialization aspect of the yoga and exercise classes, as well as a placebo effect — simply telling participants that the exercise program was specifically designed to improve psychological well-being — could be credited.
Yoga is a type of so-called mind-body medicine that includes tai-chi, meditation, and dance, music, and art therapy. It is a commonly practiced method involving behavioral, psychological, social and spiritual approaches to health, and it is centered around meditation, breathing, and postures.
Of the active or hatha yoga techniques, Iyengar yoga is the most common type practiced in the United States. Participants assume a series of stationary positions that employ isometric contraction and relaxation of different muscle groups to create specific body alignments. There also is a relaxation component.
“I see it mostly as a kind of physical activity with a stress-reduction component and body awareness features,” Oken said of yoga. “It has this aspect of bringing your attention to the present moment. But it’s hard to know if that’s due to relaxation or getting your mind not to worry for a little bit.”
Whatever the workout method, exercise seems to help MS patients reduce fatigue symptoms, Bourdette said.
“This is true whether the regular exercise is yoga, swimming, using a stationary bicycle or any other physical activity,” he said. “Sometimes the effects are quite dramatic and other times less so. But everyone with MS who exercises regularly reports benefit.”
The parallel study on the effects of yoga and exercise on healthy seniors focused on 136 participants aged 65 to 85. It showed there were some improvements in physical measures, such as cardiovascular fitness, and quality-of-life measures, such as energy and fatigue.
There was no improvement in measures of cognitive function, however, compared with a waiting-list control group.
“I was hoping to show some cognitive benefit, but the main benefit was a decrease in fatigue and higher energy levels,” Oken explained. “I think those relative benefits are only going to be seen over quite a long period of time. In healthy people, it’s probably going to be a fairly subtle effect.”
Both studies were funded by the National Institutes of Health.
|Benefits of a Relaxation practice and Guided Rest and Relaxation practice – done seated on the chair. Releases pain and is effective for higher quality sleep. In-person and Online Chair Yoga Classes for you and your employees.|
Adaptive Chair Yoga for MS.
Here’s a link to my Yoga Nidra that I posted on SoundCloud. Enjoy!
Adaptive Yoga for those with
Instructor Gail Pickens-Barger is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Yoga Alliance, and is sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
She is certified at the 200-hour & 500-hour experience registered yoga teacher level and specializes in Adaptive Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis.
For more information, contact Gail Pickens-Barger at 409-727-3177
September 8, 2011
Brandon Janes The Port Arthur News NEDERLAND — At the end of her class, Nederland yoga instructor Gail Pickens-Barger asks her students to meditate on how they are unique and “there is nobody like you in the universe.”
Her students suffer from multiple sclerosis, a chronic, unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system, and none of their symptoms are exactly the same.
Some of her students experience episodes of extreme numbness in their limbs.
“It is as if you put a giant foam block around your leg or foot,” Pickens-Barger said.
For some, the disease affects their balance or, in Crystal Chauvin’s case, a day-long jolt of electric pain down her cheek.
All of the students seem to share in one thing: The relief and relaxation of yoga.
“It helps me move better, helps me balance,” said Becky Dry, who has dealt with the disease for much of her life.
“The class helps us get through the day,” added Dry. “I’m ok now but tomorrow I may not.”
Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from multiple sclerosis and every week 200 more people are diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
There is no known cause or cure for MS. It is only fatal in extreme cases.
MS adaptive yoga is done in chairs for safety but, as Pickens-Barger points out, it can still make you sweat.
“Keep it between easy and ouch,” Pickens-Barger said during one of the stretches. “Far, far away from ouch.”
Pickens-Barger just got back from a two week long chair-yoga training in New York City, where she learned new techniques to allow her students to access the benefits of yoga without completely exhausting their bodies.
One of the biggest problems for people who suffer from MS is balance. Most of the students use a cane or a walker to get from one place to another.
The yoga techniques are designed to strengthen a person’s core muscles which help them balance whether they are sitting down or standing up.
Just as important as the benefits of the exercise and strength-building, is the sense of community and friendship the class brings to each other’s lives.
“It’s a support group also,” said Pickens-Barger.
You Don’t Have To Get Down On The Floor To Do Yoga! Group Zoom classes available for your organization or private lessons. Call Gail 409-727-3177 (NOT A TEXT MESSAGE PHONE). To arrange for your group or private lesson.
Some of my favorite tools to use in Chair Yoga Fitness Classes and in Beginner Mat Yoga Classes. My clients are always asking where they can get the lavender, the stretch out straps and the yoga blankets!
Better sleep with Chair Yoga
Chair Yoga on my YouTube Channel
Here’s the link to my yoga nidra I recently posted on SoundCloud. About 15 minutes. Enjoy!
National Sleep Foundation 2003 Sleep in America Study found that about half of the senior citizen population reports some type of sleep problem such as waking to go to the bathroom and not being able to get back to sleep. Sleep problems in the elderly are correlated with stress, medical conditions, excess weight or fatigue. The study indicates that many of these problems go untreated.
Additional factors that contribute to insomnia include anxiety, depression, caffeine, alcohol, pain, grief, as well as chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
There is a positive correlation between sleep and fitness. About half of older adults do some kind of fitness activity during the week. Simple stretching and yoga relaxation exercises can enhance mental and physical relaxation and improve the quality of your sleep.
There are a variety of yoga poses done before bed that may be helpful. They can be adapted to use in a chair. These include: legs up the wall or on a chair (laying on the floor with legs resting on a chair); seated forward bend (seated leaning forward on another chair or table) and sitting in easy pose, cross-legged with back against wall.
Use deep breathing to relax and unwind from a busy day. Breathe deeply and evenly through both nostrils. Inhale for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts for several complete breaths. Then inhale for 3 counts and exhale for 6 counts. Repeat several times. Increase the length of the exhaled breath as you are able. Only do what is comfortable for you.
Use progressive relaxation in any one of its many variations to relax the body. For example, begin by focusing on your feet as you inhale and exhale slowly. Focus on relaxing your toes, ankles, heels, calves etc. with each exhale. Some people like to tighten muscles and then relax them as they exhale. As you relax, feel all the tension drain from the part of the body on which you are focusing. Continue throughout your body, relaxing each part as you exhale. In addition, you can focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale or think of a special word and repeat that word as you inhale and exhale. Visualize a favorite place and go there in your mind. Find a progression that works for you and practice it. When you have problems sleeping use the progressive relaxation you have practiced.
Take a little time to unwind before you go to sleep. Don’t keep working until you hit the mattress.
Other Suggestions include:
- Make your bedroom comfortable and inviting. Eliminate noise and excess light.
- Go to bed the same time every night. Create a routine that prepares you for sleep.
- Take a warm bath.
- Massage your feet, especially the pressure points on the inside and outside of your heels.
- Massage your face.
- Alcohol and tobacco taken near bedtime can interfere with deep sleep.
- Get some exercise during the day. Include walking, weights, yoga, or Tai Chi in your plan.
- Check with you doctor before taking medication
- Insomnia is not life-threatening. When you can’t sleep write down the thoughts that are concerning you. Keep a list of positive thoughts and focus on them.
- Take a 20 minute (not longer) nap during the day
Be kind to yourself. Sleep cannot be forced, it can be coaxed. The world can spin without you for a while. Enjoy this moment.
Low impact, heart-healthy Chair Yoga Dance Routines – Free Videos on my YouTube Channel
Try “Sing” by Pentatonix – a new * Chair Yoga Dance * Routine by Gail
My daughter and I listen to this CD in the car going back and forth to school every day. I thought, “Oh, I need to do this song next for the * Chair Yoga Dance * class, that I’m preparing for”.
Here’s the part where I teach you the choreography to the song.
“Sing” by Pentatonix * Chair Yoga Dance * by Gail Pickens-Barger, here we are doing the choreography. I hope you enjoy this! I enjoyed figuring it out.
Just finished getting certified in Chair Yoga Dance through Yoga Vista Academy. I submitted my play back videos and Yay! Now a certified Chair Yoga Dance Instructor!
Now an official Chair Yoga Dance instructor – training from Yoga Vista Academy
- Body Functions
- Lifts our Spirits
- and bonus for instructors, keeps us Teachers Sharp!
Yoga Vista Academy made a assessment earlier in August for people to evaluate if they could figure out the beats to music and the ability to teach a Chair Yoga Dance routine. Amazing. This then led you to evaluate if you be interested in becoming a Chair Yoga Dance instructor.
I had been curious about this training, especially after taking the amazing Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care training with them. So I knew training would be awesome.
Sherry took you through different methods in evaluating music. Breaking it down to beats, to chorus/verse/intro/outro, listening and reading the lyrics, then coming up with backstories why one likes the song, and teaching the chorus to the students.
Part of the certification process is to do one of Sherry’s routines, and then come up with one of your own. You had to break down the lyrics and map out the moves according to the Chair Yoga Dance moves in the eight song library, provided to you in the training.
Here is the routine that I mapped, taught, and presented out on youtube.
Then I chose one of the routines in the eight song library, to teach back according to the instructions given for getting certified in Chair Yoga Dance.
Join me on Youtube – YogawithGaileee – as I update my Chair Yoga Dance Library and start to add new routines!
Chair yoga too!
Yoga helps with back pain.
See what a Veteran has to say about the Yoga for Low Back Pain class that I teach!
One of the Veterans that regularly takes my Yoga for Low Back Pain class on the Veteran’s Yoga Project had this to say about this class that I teach.
“Hey Don, welcome back! Hope this helped you! Let me know!”
Don – Veteran
“Yes it always helps! I’m similar to you: chronic back pain for 20-30 years, and since I started doing yoga in Tucson and more recently on-line, my back is much better. Not completely gone, but a heck of a lot better!”
Doesn’t get much better than that!
Even I, a yoga teacher struggled with back pain.
Turns out, some of the yoga poses I was doing was contributing to my back pain.
View original post 218 more words
Enjoy a little seated chair yoga dance fitness with Gail
In this video, we are inviting cardio dance fitness, but seated on the chair.
I am a licensed Zumba Instructor, with Core, Gold, Toning, Rhythms 2 specialties. Chair Yoga Dance
00:00 Hit the Road Jack
2:53 Shake Shake Shake Senora (BeetleJuice)
6:26 Grab Weights (optional) Zumba Mara’s Crazy Love
9:36 Me Gusta – Shakira
12:44 Grab Weights (optional) Bailando
16:47 Mambo Italiano
19:41 You’re the One That I Want
After about the second year of teaching adaptive chair yoga for the National MS Society (and had taken the Zumba Instructor training), I added 2 songs to our chair yoga class, to see if the students responded to it. Wow! They were so excited. Then I took the Zumba Toning (the 1lb or 2.5 lbs shaking sticks), so we could do some light weights along with the cardio dance fitness part.
You can easily do with Part 2 of the Chair Yoga Fitness program. But everyone gets really excited about this part, singing along, being a bit goofy, and having community with one another. I think they love it when I mess up. Ha. So enjoy this part, sing-along, make fun of me!
The main part is if you REST, you gonna RUST! Move it!
Chair Yoga Fitness: What do you need?
* A Chair * 1 – 2 lb weights on this workout.
* Maybe a kleenex or hand towel, cause you might sweat…you just might!
Cardio Dance Fitness Benefits:?
* Cardiovascular – get the heart muscle pumping, cause if you REST you gonna RUST.
* We also X or cross over, which is a alzheimer prevention technique. Music, crossing over the mid-line (Think BRAIN Gym for adults) is good stuff.
* Parkinson’s peeps benefit from this, again, it is dancing, music, muscle memory enhancement.
* Belonging – when you “sing” it makes you “feel” part of your community.
Discover how to: Ease back pain, lessen stress, increase flexibility, gain strength, cardio heart health, better balance, build bone mass, lower blood pressure, have higher quality sleep, and increased joint mobility…all through a regular practice of chair yoga. Remember, you don’t have to get down onto the floor to do yoga!
Here’s my latest Chair Yoga Fitness Youtube Video Playlist for you to do!
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Gain Flexibility
- Improve Circulation
- Better Balance & Joint Mobility
- Ease Aches & Pains
- Build Bones & Strength
- Gain Strength
- Lessen Stress
- Better Sleep Quality
and more with Chair Yoga Fitness Classes with Gail
Yoga Workout to ease back pain. New video on Gail’s Youtube Yogawithgaileee channel
20-30 minute videos of Chair Yoga Fitness for Fun for you!
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel to get the new Chair Yoga Fitness videos for fun and you!
Ease Back Pain – The Secret? It’s Yoga, even Chair Yoga!
Call me 409-727-3177 to schedule your private chair yoga class to start you down the path to better health. Gail Pickens-Barger, Experienced Yoga Teacher, over 20 years of teaching experience.
Chair Yoga Fitness for you to do today!
Get a bit of cardio fitness today seated on the chair!
Get a bit of seated yoga and meditation in too!
6 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
5 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
4 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
3 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
2 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
1 Day Countdown to Chair Yoga & Cardio Fitness
117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga. Extensive list compiled by Dr. Timothy McCall. He has gone through the medical case studies and compiled this list. I’ve been given permission to share this information.
Chair Yoga can help folks with some of these issues, so don’t worry that you have to get down on the floor to do yoga.
Check out my Adaptive Chair Yoga on my Youtube channel – https://www.youtube.com/Yogawithgaileee
117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga
Permission granted by Dr. Timothy McCall to share this pdf.
Chair Yoga in the News!
- Chair yoga offers a gentler alternative to exercise – The Ledger reports that, many senior citizens and people with disabilities are finding chair yoga as a welcome and non-daunting alternative exercise method. The system, of unknown origins but brought to the forefront by California-based instructor Lakshmi Voelker in the early 1980s, utilizes a chair as a station and exercise prop to perform traditional yoga stretching exercises.
Lakshmi Chair Yoga Teacher Training is wonderful! I took her chair yoga training over 8 years ago at the Open Center in NYC!
- Yoga Alliance lists 10 reasons to taking a chair yoga class – Using a chair allows REAL people to do REAL yoga. You Don’t Have To Get Down On the Floor To Do Yoga!
Truth! Amazing Massive Benefits Of Yoga And More (117 health conditions helped by yoga – Chair Yoga too)!
Online Chair Yoga with Gail ==> Youtube Channel for my weekly updates!
Over the past several years, yoga has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the western world among medical professionals and celebrities alike. While many associate yoga with new age mysticism or the latest fad at the gym, yoga is actually an ancient practice that connects the mind, body, and spirit through body poses, controlled breathing, and meditation. The practice of yoga has many health benefits associated with it, so read below to discover 77 benefits of incorporating yoga into your or your patient’s fitness program.
Health Benefits Within
From lowering blood pressure to increasing pain tolerance, the following health benefits can all be discovered within the body.
- Blood pressure. A consistent yoga practice decreases blood pressure through better circulation and oxygenation of the body. These two exercises can help lower blood pressure.
- Pulse rate. A slower pulse rate indicates that your heart is strong enough to pump more blood with fewer beats. Regularly practicing yoga provides a lower pulse rate.
- Circulation. Yoga improves blood circulation. By transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, yoga practice provides healthier organs, skin, and brain.
- Respiratory. Like the circulatory system, a lower respiratory rate indicates that the lungs are working more efficiently. Yoga decreases the respiratory rate through a combination of controlled breathing exercises and better fitness.
- Cardiovascular endurance. A combination of lower heart rate and improved oxygenation to the body (both benefits of yoga) results in higher cardiovascular endurance.
- Organs. Yoga practice massages internal organs, thus improving the ability of the body to prevent disease. Additionally, an experienced yoga practitioner becomes better attuned to her body to know at first sign if something isn’t functioning properly, thereby allowing for quicker response to head off disease.
- Gastrointestinal. Gastrointestinal functions have been shown to improve in both men and women who practice yoga.
- Immunity. Yoga practice has frequently been correlated with a stronger immune system. Read this article for more on the immune system and yoga, including some poses that specifically work on areas of immunity.
- Pain. Pain tolerance is much higher among those who practice yoga regularly. In addition to pain tolerance, some instances of chronic pain, such as back pain, are lessened or eliminated through yoga (see below for more on back pain).
- Metabolism. Having a balanced metabolism results in maintaining a healthy weight and controlling hunger. Consistent yoga practice helps find the balance and creates a more efficient metabolism.
Health Benefits Without
Just as many health benefits occur within the body, there are many benefits that can actually be experienced from without the body. From better sleep to more energy and strength, this list provides several benefits found on the outside of the body.
- Aging. Yoga stimulates the detoxification process within the body. Detoxification has been shown to delay aging, among many other health benefits.
- Posture. The very nature of yoga teaches the practitioner how to hold and control one’s body in a more healthful position. Through consistent practice, your posture will improve so that you look more confident and healthy.
- Strength. One of the premises of yoga is that you are using the weight of your own body for overall strength. Find out more about how yoga works as an excellent method of strength training in this article.
- Energy. Regular yoga practice provides consistent energy. In fact, most yogis state that when you perform your yoga correctly, you will feel energized after your yoga session rather than tired.
- Weight. The benefits of a better metabolism along with the exercise of yoga work to keep your weight in check. Additionally, the stretching of muscles longwise helps to reduce the amount of cellulite that can build around muscles.
- Sleep. Because of the many benefits to both body and mind that a yoga routine can provide, many find that their sleep is much better. Read here for more on sleep and yoga, as well as some positions for helping induce sleep.
- Balance. An integral part of the yoga practice is balance and control over your body. With a consistent practice, you will find that your overall balance will improve outside the yoga class.
- Integrated function of the body. Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means “to join together and direct one’s attention.” This is exactly what happens to your body after you start practicing yoga. Yogis find that their body works together much better, resulting in more graceful and efficient body movements.
- Body Awareness: Doing yoga will give you an increased awareness of your own body. You are often called upon to make small, subtle movements to improve your alignment. Over time, this will increase your level of comfort in your own body. This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.
- Core strength. With a strong body core, you receive better posture and overall body strength. A strong core helps heal and reduce injuries. This is why a lot of athletes do yoga as cross training (boxers, MMA fighters, etc). Read how this swimmer uses yoga to strengthen her core and improve her swimming.
- Sexuality. Yoga can improve your sexuality through better control, more relaxation, and more self-confidence. Read more about the yoga and sexuality connection here.
Emotional Health Benefits
Due to the strong mind-body connection of yoga, there are many emotional benefits to be gained from a consistent yoga practice. Find out how yoga can help improve emotional health with this list.
- Mood. Overall well-being improves with yoga practice. The combination of creating a strong mind-body connection, creating a healthy body, and focusing inward can all lead to improvement in your mood.
- Stress Reduction. The concentration required during yoga practice tends to focus your attention on the matter at hand, thereby reducing the emphasis you may have been putting on the stress in your life. Read more about yoga and stress management here.
- Anxiety. One benefit to the controlled breathing used in yoga is a reduction in anxiety. Learn more about how you can use yoga breathing to reduce your anxiety.
- Depression. Some believe the negative feelings that you may be repressing are brought to the surface during some types of yoga exercise. When this happens, the negative energy is no longer stuck within you, but released through exercise. Regularly releasing this negativity leads to a reduction of depression in many people.
- Self-acceptance. Focusing inward and realizing through your yoga practice that perfection is not the goal, self-acceptance begins to take over. This post describes how success is not measured by perfectionism in yoga.
- Self-control. The controlled movements of yoga teach you how to translate that self-control to all aspects of your life.
- Mind-body connection. Few other exercises offer the same mind-body connection that yoga does. As you match your controlled breathing with the movements of your body, you retrain your mind to find that place of calm and peace that long-time yogis know.
- A positive outlook on life. Continued practice of yoga results in a balance of many hormones and nervous system, which brings about a more stable, positive approach to life.
- Hostility. Most yogis report a huge reduction in the amount of hostility they feel as well as a sense of control when anger flares. This calm effect is likely from the relaxation and meditation that is incorporated in their yoga practice that leads to an overall calming of the nervous system. Less hostility means lower blood pressure and stress and a healthier approach to life.
- Concentration. Researchers have shown that as little as eight weeks of yoga practice can result in better concentration and more motivation.
- Memory. Improved blood circulation to the brain as well as the reduction in stress and improved focus results in better memory.
- Attention. The attention required in yoga to maintain the structured breathing in conjunction with yoga poses sharpens the ability to keep a sharp focus on tasks.
- Social skills. In yoga, you learn the interconnectedness of all of life. Your yoga practice soon evolves from a personal journey to one connecting to the community at large where your social skills improve along with your yoga practice.
- Calmness. Concentrating so intently on what your body is doing has the effect of bringing calmness. Yoga also introduces you to meditation techniques, such as watching how you breathe and disengagement from your thoughts, which help calm the mind.
Several aspects of body chemistry such as glucose levels and red blood cells are affected by yoga. Learn how you can improve your body chemistry through yoga.
- Cholesterol. Yoga practice lowers cholesterol through increased blood circulation and burning fat. Yoga practice is a great tool to fight against harmful cholesterol levels.
- Lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system boosts your immunity and reduces toxins in your body. The only way to get your lymphatic system flowing well is by movement. The specific movements involved in yoga are particularly well-suited for promoting a strong lymphatic system.
- Glucose. There is evidence to suggest that yoga may lower blood glucose levels.
- Sodium. As does any good exercise program, yoga reduces the sodium levels in your body. In today’s world of processed and fast foods that are full of sodium, lessening these levels is a great idea.
- Endocrine functions. Practicing yoga helps to regulate and control hormone secretion. An improved endocrine system keeps hormones in balance and promotes better overall physical and emotional health.
- Triglycerides. Triglycerides are the chemical form of fat in the blood, and elevated levels can indicate a risk for heart disease and high blood pressure. A recent study shows that yoga can lead to “significantly lower” levels of triglycerides. Read more about the results of that study here.
- Red blood cells. Yoga has been shown to increase the level of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood, and too few can result in anemia and low energy.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps boost immunity, helps produce collagen, and is a powerful antioxidant; and a yoga regimen can increase the vitamin C in your body.
Exercise Health Benefits
As a form of exercise, yoga offers benefits that are sometimes not easily found among other exercise regimens. Check out these reasons to include yoga in your or your patient’s health program.
- Low risk of injury. Due to the low impact of yoga and the controlled aspect of the motions, there is a very low risk of injury during yoga practice compared to other forms of exercise.
- Parasympathetic Nervous System. In many forms of exercise, the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, providing you with that fight-or-flight sensation. Yoga does the opposite and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic system lowers blood pressure and slows the pace of your breathing, which allows relaxation and healing.
- Muscle tone. Consistently practicing yoga leads to better muscle tone.
- Subcortex. Subcortical regions of the brain are associated with well-being, and yoga is thought to dominate the subcortex rather than the cortex (where most exercise dominates).
- Reduced oxygen consumption. Yoga consumes less oxygen than traditional exercise routines, thereby allowing the body to work more efficiently.
- Breathing. With yoga, breathing is more natural and controlled during exercise. This type of breathing provides more oxygen-rich air for your body and also provides more energy with less fatigue.
- Balanced workout of opposing muscle groups. As with all of yoga, balance is key. If a muscle group is worked in one direction, it will also be worked in the opposite direction to maintain balance. This balance results in a better overall workout for the body.
- Non-competitive. The introspective and self-building nature of yoga removes any need of competition in the exercise regimen. With the lack of competition, the yogi is free to work slowly to avoid any undue injury as well as promote a more balanced and stress-free workout.
- Joint range of motion. A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine indicated that joint range of motion was improved by participants who practiced yoga.
- Eye-hand coordination. Without practice, eye-hand coordination diminishes. Yoga maintains and improves eye-hand coordination.
- Dexterity. The strong mind-body connection and flexibility gained from yoga leads to grace and skill.
- Reaction time. Research done in India shows that reaction time can be improved with specific yoga breathing exercises in conjunction with an already established yoga practice. The improvement was attributed to the faster rate of processing and improved concentration gained from yoga.
- Endurance. Working the entire body, yoga improves endurance and is frequently used by endurance athletes as a supplement to their sport-specific training.
- Depth perception. Becoming aware of your body and how it moves, as one does in yoga practice, leads to increased depth perception.
Doctors and nurses love yoga because studies indicate that it can help prevent the following diseases.
- Heart disease. Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, keeps off weight, and improves cardiovascular health, all of which lead to reducing your risk of heart disease.
- Osteoporosis. It is well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, yoga’s ability to lower levels of cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
- Alzheimer’s. A new study indicates that yoga can help elevate brain gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) levels. Low GABA levels are associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. Meditation like that practiced in yoga has also been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s.
- Type II diabetes. In addition to the glucose reducing capabilities of yoga, it is also an excellent source of physical exercise and stress reduction that, along with the potential for yoga to encourage insulin production in the pancreas, can serve as an excellent preventative for type II diabetes.
Symptom Reduction or Alleviation
Medical professionals have learned that the following diseases or disorders can all be helped by maintaining a yoga practice.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome. Individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome who practiced yoga showed greater improvement than those who wore a splint or received no treatment at all. Researchers saw improved grip strength and reduction of pain in the study participants.
- Asthma. There is some evidence to show that reducing symptoms of asthma and even reduction in asthma medication are the result of regular yoga.
- Arthritis. The slow, deliberate movement of yoga poses coupled with the gentle pressure exerted on the joints provides an excellent exercise to relieve arthritis symptoms. Also, the stress relief associated with yoga loosens muscles that tighten joints.
- Multiple sclerosis. According to this article, “yoga is now recognized as an excellent means of MS management.” Additionally, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is funding a clinical trial of yoga for treating multiple sclerosis.
- Cancer. Those fighting or recovering from cancer frequently take advantage of the benefits that yoga provides. Cancer patients who practice yoga gain strength, raise red blood cells, experience less nausea during chemotherapy, and have a better overall well-being.
- Muscular dystrophy. Using yoga in the early stages of muscular dystrophy can help return some physical functions. The practice of Pranayam yoga helped one teen regain many of his abilities lost to muscular dystrophy. Learn more in this article.
- Migraines. Regular yoga practice has been shown to reduce the number of migraines in chronic migraine sufferers. This post describes how yoga can reduce migraines.
- Scoliosis. Yoga can straighten the curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis. Find out how this yogi cured her scoliosis and continues to help others as well.
- Chronic bronchitis. An exercise that does not elevate respiration, yet increases oxygen levels in the body is ideal for treating chronic bronchitis. Luckily, yoga can do this, as well as aerate the lungs and provide energy.
- Epilepsy. Focusing on stress reduction, breathing, and restoring overall balance in the body are the focus of how yoga can help prevent epileptic seizures.
- Sciatica. The intense pain associated with sciatica can be alleviated with specific yoga poses. Here are 10 great ones to help relieve pain.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Studies of people with OCD have shown that practicing yoga has to lead to a reduction in symptoms–resulting in less medication or medication no longer needed.
- Constipation. Due to the practice of yoga and overall better posture, the digestive and elimination systems work more efficiently. If the practitioner also has a healthy diet, any constipation will be eliminated through yoga.
- Allergies. Using a neti pot to clear the sinuses is an ancient form of yoga to help reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. Certain types of breathing can also help clear the nasal passages.
- Menopause. Yoga practice can help control some of the side effects of menopause. Learn how the bridge pose can help reduce hot flashes here.
- Back pain. Yoga reduces spinal compression and helps overall body alignment to reduce back pain. Find a yoga pose to help lessen back pain here.
Thanks, Meredith for this great list!
Plus Dr. Timothy McCall’s 117 Health Conditions Helped by Yoga Clinical Studies List – Wow!
Gail Pickens-Barger, over 19 years teaching experience – RYT 500, National Association of Certified Yoga Teachers, Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care International Yoga Teacher.
These seated chair yoga dance fitness routines are a great bump in your cardio fitness efforts.
Please join me with some light weights – 1 lb or 2 lb – or maybe some 8 or 12 ounce water bottles, and lets start getting some cardio fitness into your everyday routines.
Other information you might be interested in?
- Benefits of Chair Yoga
- Yoga Sleep Method in Chair Yoga Class
- Ease Back Pain with Chair Yoga
- 117 Health Conditions Helped by a Regular Yoga Class
You Don’t Have To Get Down On The Floor To Do Yoga! Here’s a great list of Chair Yoga Videos that I’ve done online since mid-March 2020. Enjoy!
- Gentle Yoga for Low Back Care Beginners Yoga Classes with Gail Pickens-Barger https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLintB64DjXP4qogGk8yNFXg0DKLI32hOE
- Chair Yoga Fitness Classes with Gail Pickens-Barger https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLintB64DjXP78Lh7fwbB_ZfbUOvG3UH_H
- Veterans Yoga Project classes by VYP Ambassador, Gail Pickens-Barger https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLintB64DjXP4JNd1KmyIA97KeYeybZO2n
- Yoga classes for the National MS Society – Lonestar Chapter – Texas, Louisana, Oklahoma & Arkansas by Gail Pickens-Barger https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLintB64DjXP5V9tPQYzbLrnVZ49U6lyTY
Want an online class for your group? Please contact Gail Pickens-Barger! 409-727-3177
Yoga Near Me 77627 77651 77701
Lower blood pressure, Better Joint Mobility, Build Bones, Ease Back Pain, Better Sleep, plus: Improve: Circulation, Strength, Flexibility, and the Breath!
- Lower blood pressure
- Better Joint Mobility
- Build Bones
- Ease Back Pain
- Better Sleep
- Plus: Improve: Circulation, Strength, Flexibility, and the Breath!
Take a look at some of my other articlesChair Yoga Does That?
I get this question a lot. Who is Chair Yoga for?
Is it for frail seniors?
Well, Yes and No.
Chair yoga is for anyone who cannot or wishes not to get down on the floor.
Chair yoga is used in the classroom at schools for helping with focus and attention!
Chair Yoga is used for getting all the benefits of a regular yoga practice!
Chair Yoga is used as a tool for helping with balance, when one is doing standing yoga poses.
And yes, chair yoga is used for seniors, residential life, nursing homes, senior centers and more.
Great article on 12 Reasons Why Chair Yoga is Great for Seniors over at Matthew Cranfield’s Getting Old and Fit Site is worth reading!
Try this video too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm6g96lFNTE
Chair Yoga sequence for you to get started in your yoga practice.
Donation yoga class to benefit the Veterans Gratitude Week for Veterans Yoga Project. November 8, 2021 6 PM CST on Zoom with Gail.
I am teaching a donation based yoga class to benefit the Veterans Yoga Project during #VetGratitude Week
Minimum donation of $10 for attending this Zoom class for beginners. Great for those of us with low back challenges too!