What’s one thing nobody told you about the years after 60, when retirement was supposed to be filled with your favorite pastimes? By the time you got here, aged-related changes to your neck, shoulders and wrists might have turned all those pastimes into chores.

And at Sixty and Me we think that’s not fair, and certainly not the way to spend our golden years. So we’ve asked our favorite yoga instructor Cat Kabira, to come to the rescue with the second of our three-video Chair Yoga for Seniors series.

Gentle Chair Yoga after 60: A Flexible Approach to Flexibility

What’s chair yoga? Simply put, it’s your opportunity to practice “real” yoga poses despite your physical limitations. When illness, injuries, joint surgery or shaky balance put traditional yoga off limits, many seniors find the support they need in chair yoga.

And with Cat as your guide, you’ll have options as to how challenging you want your workout to be. Although the videos are designed specifically for beginners, she offers each pose with different levels of difficulty.

In the few poses that require standing, your chair remains there to support you. Pair those factors with Cat’s firm belief in using props, coming out of poses as soon as necessary and working within your limits, and you have an approach to chair yoga as flexible as any yogi!

How Chair Yoga for Seniors Can Help What Ails You

By focusing on the neck, shoulders and wrists, Cat says, this video is designed to “… open and unlock the tension in those areas.” And — if you’re like most of us who have spent an inordinate amount of time hunched over computers pounding our keyboards — your neck, shoulders and wrists are storehouses of tension!

Even if you don’t have a computer-centric lifestyle, poor posture combined with decades of stress may have taken their toll on your upper body. So when your neck pain has become… well… a pain in the neck, it’s time to act!

To get the most out of this workout, you may need to use a strap, scarf or belt as a prop. By breathing deeply into your core (Pranayama) when you start and during each pose, you‘ll nourish your entire body with oxygen.

Over time, deep breathing may improve your lung capacity, while stretching and opening your neck and shoulders will also give your posture a lift.

Combine these benefits with decreased pain and increased flexibility in your wrists and hands? That’s quite a payback for about 30 minutes of working out in the comfort of your chair, but there’s even more.

As a bonus, you’ll end the poses with movements to relax your jaw — and may be surprised by how good that feels! Then it’s on to shavsana, when you can close your eyes and just let any remaining tension evaporate from your body.

What are your thoughts on trying chair yoga for your neck, shoulders and wrists? How do you feel about Cat’s flexible approach to the poses? Please share in our conversations?

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