Try Yoga for Wheelchair Users in a STRONGBACK Wheelchair

Oct 29, 2021Mindy Drexler

All sitting yoga poses can be conducted by anyone who wants to enjoy yoga whether they use a wheelchair for mobility or not. You can use a dining chair for seated yoga, for example. However, if you want to enjoy yoga from a wheelchair, then it is preferable to do so from a lightweight chair that offers plenty of support. This is exactly why the award-winning STRONGBACK range of products is so ideally suited for wheelchair yoga.

Below, you will find some chair yoga exercises you can try out. Note that, whether you are talking about wheelchair yoga for beginners or wheelchair yoga for seniors, the benefits are not simply physical. Wheelchair yoga can also help to improve your mental outlook by offering a sense of accomplishment and allowing you to more easily release the stresses of daily life. Before starting the sitting yoga poses outlined below, inhale and exhale mindfully. Accept the best version of yourself with each in-breath and release worries and concerns with each outward breath. Breath deeply and evenly. Work within your body's capabilities. This is as true for wheelchair yoga as it is any other form of yoga. When you feel relaxed and ready, proceed with the first pose.

Spinal Flexes with Chin to Chest

This is one of the yoga for seniors poses that anyone of any age can enjoy doing. Start by lifting the chin upwards on your in breaths. Then round your spine as you exhale such that your shoulders drop forward. As you slowly move forward your chin will naturally fall forwards towards your chest. Then breath in once more, lifting upwards through the front of your body. Continue with this pattern stretching out your belly as you raise your head up. To round off this wheelchair yoga exercise, drop your chin down then draw your navel in, holding it for a few seconds. Then breathe in rolling your shoulders up but keep your chin against your chest as you rise initially. When your shoulders are back in their usual position, lift your head up straight and center yourself. This wheelchair yoga pose for beginners can take a few minutes out of your day. If you enjoyed it, proceed to the next exercise.

Thriller Arms and Side Body Stretches

Take a few deep breaths in and out to recenter yourself. As you exhale, make a conscious effort to relax your shoulders. Now stretch your arms out in front of you horizontally, pointing the fingertips outwards, plugging the shoulders in their sockets. Next, drop your hands down at the wrist such that the fingertips now point downwards, the so-called 'Thriller arms' posture. As with many of the chair yoga exercises you can do, this will stretch the forearms out. Hold the pose but don't overstretch. Wheelchair yoga for seniors and other wheelchair users should involve stretches but never cause injury. Try to keep your chest up. Bring your hands together, side-by-side. Now take a deep in-breath as you move your hands away from one another in a semi-circular motion. Allow them to reach their widest position on either side of you with the fingers pointing downward still but the arms are in a horizontal position. Bring them back to the middle as you breathe in. Repeat. Next, flip your palms so your hands point up and repeat the same sideways movements with each breath. To round the exercise off, hook one thumb over the other and raise your hands skywards. Tilt to the left slightly, then to the right. This will offer your body a side stretch, helping to fully open the rib cage.

Eagle Arms and Flying Vees

Take a second to notice how you feel after centering yourself once more. Next, lets proceed to the eagle arms pose. This is another one of those yoga for seniors poses that anyone can do regardless of their prior experience with yoga. Place your arms out in front of you. Bring one arm under the other and wrap them around, bending at the elbow such that the palms touch one another at about face level. This is a pose known as garudasana and it is common in many forms of yoga. Push your hands up above your head as you breathe, keeping them in the garudasana pose. Then drop them bringing your head towards your chest as you did in the first, spinal flex exercise. Repeat and then unravel the arms. As you breathe in, open your arms out above your head in a vee-shape with your thumbs pointing back. Exhale while dropping your arms down, bending at the elbow behind your back in a cactus-like pose. You can then repeat the entire exercise, this time reversing the way you form your garudasana by making the arm that was on top, the one that will go beneath.

Spine Twists with Anjala Mundra

The final wheelchair yoga pose involves gently twisting your spine. Place your right hand on the outer edge of your left thigh. Gaze over your right shoulder. If you want, you can also grab hold of the side of your STRONGBACK wheelchair for this exercise. Repeat two or three times before switching sides. Try to release anything that is stressing you as you exhale during this seated yoga exercise. Round off your yoga session by bringing your hands together in a prayer-like pose known as anjali mudra and take a moment to thank you for your time for yourselves, your yoga practice - and appreciate yoru breath and every heart beat.

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