Dynamic Movement in Chair Based Yoga

3 reasons why dynamic movement is beneficial in chair based yoga

What does dynamic mean in the context of asana? In my yoga therapy training is was a synonym of synchronised movement to breath, controlled movement in and out of the pose.
This created space for other elements of the practice to be adapted or for them to evolve; implied the idea of great awareness to develop through repetition.

Before preaching about the benefits of dynamic movement in chair based yoga though, we must look at the student most likely to attend a chair yoga class.
When looking at the demographics of chair based yoga, we are most likely looking at older adults, people with limited mobility [for whichever reason], people who are chronically ill or people returning to their practice after illness or injury.
The dynamic practice of the poses may not seem like the most obvious way to practice but it serves them massively on many levels.

1. Warm Up the body
Through dynamic movement and repetition muscles are stretched and contracted, even awakened.

2. Breath control
In yoga, breath leads movement; moving to the breath, not only provides the opportunity to lengthen and refine the breath, but also “empowers” the asana.
I’m sure you will understand what I mean the next time you try and pick up a heavy bag of shopping and take a deep breath in before you do so.

3. Brings focus
When we allow for the breath to lead repetitive movement and synchronise the inhale and the exhale to a respective movement, we introduce the aspect of the mind into the practice .
With repetition the 3, body, breath and mind, become. one. This can then be taken into sequences and more advanced practices.

▪️ For students that come to chair based yoga classes dynamic practices become the preparation and the mastery of a pose.
▪️ In some cases dynamic poses are the only way to practice safely.
▪️ Dynamic practices promote great breath control.
▪️ In cases where students are in pain and tend to hold their breath, dynamic movement becomes the cue to simply breathe.
▪️ Finally, acuity of the mind is primary. Not just for older age adults but also anyone. This synchronised smooth control of movement and breathing becomes the anchoring of the mind.

It is therefore through dynamic movement that we can move into stillness and a state of yoga.