As the temperatures drop and days get shorter, it may be time to think about different ways to get yourself moving. Chair yoga is a great way to move your body and tap into your breath. You don’t need any special equipment to do it – just a chair (preferably without wheels, or with the wheels in the locked position). Join yoga instructor (and Health and Wellness Program Manager) Mandie Johnson from Central Arkansas VAMC for this brief 9-minute chair yoga practice.

Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a mind/body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy, aimed to help people feel calmer and more relaxed. There are many different styles of yoga that can be adapted for people of all abilities.

Yoga can help improve flexibility, strength and balance. Research shows it may also help with numerous conditions, including,

  • Decrease pain in osteoarthritis.
  • Improve balance.
  • Control blood sugar in type-2 diabetes.
  • Reduce risk factors for heart disease.
  • Decrease fatigue.
  • Decrease menopausal hot flashes.
  • Lose weight.

Yoga involves physical activity as well as breathing exercises and mediation to help increase body awareness. Being physically active is an important step you can take to improve your health. Some activities increase stamina, while others improve strength, mobility, balance or flexibility. An important consideration for any movement practice is how we listen to our body. Bringing awareness to your physical body before, during and after movement activities can help prevent adverse events or injury.

More information

Yoga is one way to reduce stress, improve sleep and increase self-awareness. For more Whole Health resources on how to live happier and healthier, check out the Circle of Health:

Looking for more ways to move your body? Learn more about being physically active from VA’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Healthy Living Tips:

Alison M. Whitehead, MPH is the Acting Director for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.   

Live Whole Health #48: Give yourself a break with acupressure
Breath--something we do 20,000 times a day--is one of the body’s most important functions, and one that we can notice in every moment. Live Whole Health #50 – The Easiest Way to Improve Your Health

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