Always wanted to take up yoga but hampered by age, weight or a disability? Then consider chair yoga.

Over the years, the art of yoga, first practised by spiritual gurus, has evolved from its original intention of integrating body, mind and soul into something less profound. Today, yoga has become so trendy that most people only focus on the physical exercises and nothing more.

If you step into any fitness centre or browse online, you’ll see a variety of yoga classes being offered. From chiyoga, yogilates, yoga dance to trance yoga and yogarobics, a new permutation of yoga is being discovered every day, much to the horror of traditionalists, many people use this as their fitness way, while others decide to go the gym to train their muscles and use systems as sarms bodybuilding, to improve even faster.Image result for yoga

Still exercise and sweating do provide health benefits as Fat Loss using an online trainer, so perhaps some form of yoga is better than nothing at all.

These days, even people who’ve always wanted to take up yoga but cannot because of physical limitations or want to correct their skeletal and muscular alignment, have an option to consider ‚Äî chair yoga.

It was yoga exponent B. K. S. Iyengar, the man responsible for introducing yoga to the West, who pioneered the art of using props in yoga as an aid for the sickly and for those who find it difficult to get on and off the floor. He encouraged the use of blocks, chairs, straps, bolsters and other objects to help practitioners alleviate their ailments such as backaches, insomnia and maintain your body healthy and fit, also if you are looking to get a few pounds of you can try with maxwell keto pills to help you loose weight in a very healthy way.

Iyengar, who wrote Light on Yoga, considered the bible of yoga among practitioners and translated into 17 languages, was listed as among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2004. Now, Iyengar’s prop-aided yoga approach has finally arrived in these shores.

Manoj Kaimal, who founded Manasa Yoga with his wife Sandhya, recently conducted a workshop on chair yoga called Alambana — The Practice of Yoga with Support. Eager students thronged his studio at the Yoga Life Mind & Body Center in Petaling Jaya, Selangor to learn new ways of doing yoga.

Chair yoga is one of the gentlest forms of yoga. There are no complicated maneouvres or complex movements in a chair yoga class. In this type of yoga class, you can do standing, seated and prone postures. The benefits of using props are many.

“The health of all organs is directly proportional to the volume of blood flowing into it but the circulation of blood tends to diminish with age. Yoga postures done on props really improve this flow, without straining the skeleto-muscular body,” explained Manoj to a packed audience.

Occasionally, in the quest to perfect certain postures, the student might work too hard, hence blood flow is concentrated on the muscles instead of the organs. With the chair, the muscles don’t have to be strained and blood is able to flow smoothly.

“Even for healthy and regular practitioners, props are a blessing in many ways. Since the practitioner can stay longer, one can really take time to contemplate and connect to the bio-mechanical as well as the energy aspects of the pose,” said Manoj.

Chair yoga is gaining popularity worldwide, especially among seniors in retirement facilities and adult daycare centres. Students learn different yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation and ways of relaxation. Chair yoga can also be useful for those who are not flexible, have weak muscles or are recovering from an ailment.

Best of all, it’s suitable for all levels and ages.

Basically, all you need is a sturdy chair with no lower back support and a mat with traction to ensure the chair stays in place. The class usually begins with the student sitting on a chair and bending forward to stretch the back muscles. Because the chair is used to support the spine, the student does not have to worry about injuring himself or not being able to touch the toes. Eventually, the class progresses to more difficult exercises like arm and leg balances, depending on the level the student is at.

To those who’d dismiss doing exercises on a chair as child’s play, I’d say think again. It’s definitely not as easy as it looks, especially the arm balances. Chair yoga can also be challenging for those who want to try out difficult postures, as it requires strength and mental willingness.

“Props make entering and staying in an advanced posture more accessible. It enables you to stay longer in the pose and allows you to contemplate deeper on the subtle nuances. Eventually, you are able to enter a deeper state, both physically and mentally,” said Manoj.

Unfortunately, many yoga students think they have mastered the art after twisting themselves into a beautiful pretzel.

“Sometimes people are stuck in doing asana (poses) because all they want is to achieve the ultimate pose, which defeats the purpose of doing yoga,” said Manoj.

“Yoga is much more than that. You have to get in touch with the simple present and learn to tame the mind. When you get there, the feeling can be quite strong. It’s like ‚Äògoing home’. Most of the time, we support ourselves on temporary identities based on our job, skills, responsibility, etc.

“We are so neurotically dependent on other things; for example radio or Facebook. We relate and identify with the thoughts, concepts, images and narratives of the mind, but never relate to or know ourselves in the silence and emptiness of mind,” he added, quoting the Sufi poet, Rumi, ‚ÄòWhat good is knowledge, if it does not lift you above your self?’