It is a passion and my purpose as a devoted yoga practitioner + teacher to be able to share the practice with all walks of life. Since starting up the chair supported sessions I have noticed there is, understandably, a lot of apprehension and confusion around what it's all about! So I've decided to pull the 5 most asked questions from Google regarding chair yoga, and answer them in my own words, speaking from mine and my students experience.
Is chair yoga as good as regular yoga?
This is a question very typical of a beginner or someone who only knows of yoga what they see on yoghurt adverts or Facebook pictures of girls doing hand stands in bikinis. Once you find a teacher who implements not only the physical parts of the practice – this question is answered with the realisation that yoga isn’t about being good at something, rather it is about being good to yourself by becoming more attentive through breath, movement and contemplation. Is chair yoga worth it?
Time invested in your well being is never time wasted. What kind of chair do I need?
If you attend group classes the chairs will of course be suitable chairs provided. If you go for private or online at home sessions, make sure it is a sturdy chair with a straight back, if with arm rests they should be low, ideally a square shaped seat, no stools or office chairs. Can you do yoga sitting in a chair?
It is the duty of yoga teachers to reframe how we think of yoga as something to do – yoga is a way of life, yoga is being. To quote the wonderful Susanna Barkataki – “we come to life when we realise that every moment is an opportunity to practice yoga.” We can apply what we learn in active classes to all parts of life; conversation, handling of emotions, work, study…. Who can benefit from chair yoga?
The use of the chair as a prop in asana (posture) practice – opens up yoga to those who would otherwise never consider it. To list a few physical benefits –
● Strength Building. Being stronger as we age will help us to navigate our daily lives more independently. ● Improved Coordination. This is particularly helpful in helping us to prevent falls. ● Maintain or improve mental clarity ● May assist with pain management. ● May help you sleep better. If we manage to build a somewhat consistent commitment to the practice, apart from reaping all the physical benefits, we find ourselves living a more mindful life, feeling full of gratitude and connected more deeply with ourselves and the world around us.
Below is a review from a regular student -
"Danielle orchestrates a brilliant hour of mediative yoga practise at Lilyjacks on a Monday morning. We are mostly a group of retired ladies. Some of us have back or hip problems but we don't miss out. Danielle helps us adapt the positions by using chairs. This enables everyone to carry out the practise to the best of their ability. It also induces the mind to relax and let go of our stresses.
Due to illness in previous years my core strength was non existent. After a few months it has made an amazing difference to me. I can feel the strength building in my body. I also have Asthma and the breathing exercises (which I try and do everyday) have enabled me to come off my daily inhaler. Danielle is an amazing instructor and a lovely girl. My friend and I drive from Playa Blanca to LilyJacks every Monday morning, what a fabulous start to the week, we have also met some lovely ladies as well. I highly recommend giving it a go!"
The last question I will leave you with here, is one I've added to the list myself, as it does come up in real life albeit not on my Google search, it's very layered and weighted so often gets left out...
Is yoga a religious practice?
This is a tough but very welcome and not out of place question.Yoga is a spiritual practice - to take away that essence is culture appropriation, to cherry pick elements that suit, without respecting the roots. Yoga is rooted in Hinduism, Buddhism and many other religions but not tied entirely to any one in particular. Over the years it has evolved and branched into many manifestations, one could spend a lifetime debating what it is and isn't on the Internet. I highly recommend following and supporting the work of Tiwari Yoga for an authentic, educational and fascinating means to answer these queries. Nevertheless, it remains a responsibility of mine, to be able to respond and talk on this topic, a conversation I will never stop having, with myself and others, all whilst at the same time knowing when to pass the mic. A couple of quotes that I have been meditating upon in relation to this subject, I shall share here for you here to ponder on: "Yoga is not an invention nor is it a discovery - it is the knowledge of the Universe, the cosmos"
Dhyanse "With the mind harmonised by Yoga one sees equality everywhere; one sees one's Self as abiding in all being's and all being's in one's own self." 6:29 The Bhagavad Gita
If you have any more questions to add please don't hesitate to comment below or open up a conversation in person.
If you are interested in learning more or booking in for a class -
Contact Danielle: 0034 602498914