Yoga Chair Poses for Seniors – Online Classes to Try at Home | Helen Krag


Chair Yoga delivers many of the traditional benefits of yoga and is more accessible for those in their later years. These gentle online yoga classes can be done at home.

“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” 


This makes sense. Yoga encompasses meditation and breathing techniques and it stands to reason that it can indeed be accessible to anybody. After all, everyone on the planet breathes.  

With the physical asana practice, certain caveats may be applied. Levels of physical flexibility and strength vary greatly between individuals and injuries may feel like an impediment. Above all, physical yoga should be safe and not cause harm.  

A common way of adapting physical yoga to suit different bodies is to use props such as blocks, blankets and straps. Props help us ‘extend’ the body and improve our alignment, which in turn facilitates a greater range of movement. Props can enable us to find stillness and ease in a pose. 

“The body is the prop for the soul, so why not let the body be propped by a wall or a block.” 

B. K. S. Iyengar

Far from being a ‘remedial’ tool, props increase accessibility and enable asana to be practised safely. The humble chair is one such prop.  

Are you able to sit in a chair? Then you can practise yoga chair poses for seniors. 


Chair yoga delivers many of the classic benefits of physical yoga such as improved strength, mobility, flexibility and balance. The use of a chair will additionally: 

  • ‘Raise’ the floor for those who find it hard to get up and down from the ground without assistance. 
  • Provide support for those who find it difficult to balance, whilst also helping to improve balance in a safe and controlled way.
  • Avoid putting undue pressure on joints, for example in the case of arthritic knees or hips.  

Studies into the benefits of chair yoga for seniors have typically had low numbers of participants.

However, some results are promising: 

  • A 2012 pilot study involved men and women with a mean age of 88 at the risk of falls. It deemed chair yoga to be a feasible and safe intervention to improve balance and mobility.   
  • A 2019 quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of a 12-week chair yoga programme on 31 community-dwelling older women who had low levels of physical activity. The results showed improvements in functional fitness including handgrip strength; static & dynamic balance; upper & lower limb muscle strength and flexibility. 
  • A study on women over the age of 65 with knee osteoarthritis in Taiwan concluded that chair yoga practised twice a week delivered a significantly higher level of functional fitness.  


Choose from four classes suitable for seniors.  

Chair and Wall Yoga for Seniors / Limited Movement with Barbara Gallani.

Ideal for those with a limited range of movement, this class explores modified versions of Tadasana (Mountain Pose); a forward bend, Bhujangasana (Cobra), a twist and Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I).    

Chair and Limited Mobility Yoga Sequence: Flexion and Extension with Lizzie Reumont.

This sequence is demonstrated both standing and in a chair. It aims to return us to our centre and restore balance.  

Chair Yoga: Shoulders and Spine with Lizzie Reumont.

A sequence for seniors and chair-bound folks to mobilise and release the spine and shoulders. Also useful for stress relief at the work desk!

Chair Modified Sun Salutations with Lizzie Reumont.

This sequence is practised with a chair at the front of the mat to offer support. It is ideal for those with leg or torso injuries, or for those recovering from surgery.


Lizzie Reumont guides us through a series of three sequences to help with recovery from illness or injury. Start slowly and work gently from the ground up.  

Protect and Recover 1: Lower Body 

This class takes place mostly seated in a chair and the focus is on the interconnectedness between the feet, ankles, knees and hips.  

Protect and Recover 2: Gentle Floor & Modified Standing Poses 

There is some floor work, lying on the back, to start this class. We then move on to modified sun salutation poses. Learn to lunge safely and do some chair-supported warrior poses and gentle twists.

Protect and Recover 3: Healthy Spine 

This class can be done standing or in a chair and mobilises the spine in different planes of movement. Create a sense of awareness and balance through the spinal vertebrae up to the neck and down into the pelvis, bringing in the ribcage, shoulders, arms and hands. 


Maintaining mobility as we age is vital. Our Ageless Movement course invites you on a journey through the decades with a sense of play, an open mind, curiosity and self-compassion.  

Comprising of 6 parts, this course offers a variety of physical, emotional and mental practices that support us as we move through life’s phases.  


We hope you’ll enjoy trying our yoga chair poses for seniors at home. Remember to enlist the help and advice of a professional if you are embarking on this kind of activity anew.  

We’ll leave you with a few final thoughts from Kat Farrants on Ageless Yoga for Seniors.  

Author: Helen Krag. Helen is a health and wellness enthusiast; observer of human behavioural change; yoga teacher trainee; passionate traveller; and lover of the outdoors.


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