If you’re interested in practicing Chair Yoga, it’s a good idea to start with a teacher in your local area. A qualified yoga teacher will spend some time talking with you, to understand any health limitations you may have, and to address any concerns or questions.
At a minimum, your yoga teacher should:
- Have completed a yoga teacher training course. Yoga Teacher Training courses which are registered with Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org) indicate a minimum level of training, which can help you feel more secure that the individual is a qualified yoga instructor. It is preferable for the instructor to be a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance, because this provides assurance that he/she maintains her teaching credentials via continuing education. You can search for instructors in your area on the Yoga Alliance website.
- If the instructor uses yoga in a therapeutic framework, for instance, via individual/private yoga training sessions, the individual should also have training in Yoga Therapy and be a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (www.iayt.org). You can search for Yoga Therapists in your area on the IAYT website.
- Have current CPR and first aid training. Ideally, the instructor will also have AED certification, and the facility where the class is held will have first aid equipment and a working telephone. In the event of an emergency during class, you want to feel secure that the instructor will handle the situation appropriately and provide appropriate support while waiting for first responders/emergency responders to arrive.
- Experience with older adult exercise and/or adapted exercise. This may be via training at the college level (for instance, a degree in exercise physiology) or via continuing education through an appropriate fitness provider, such as the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America or the American College of Sports Medicine.
Talk with the instructor before taking a class, to ensure you feel comfortable and safe with the individual’s training, background, experience, and approach to teaching.
Look for Chair Yoga classes in your local area:
- Many hospitals and wellness centers offer health and wellness programing, including Chair Yoga. These classes are likely to be taught by instructors with a high level of training and experience.
- Many city and community programs, for instance in a community public recreation program or at the community senior citizens center, or as part of a community continuing education / extension program, include exercise classes, including adapted or Chair Yoga.
- Some yoga studios may offer Chair Yoga classes. Look for yoga teachers and studios in your area by searching the teacher registry at www.yogaalliance.org. Some yoga studios will be listed in the yellow pages of your local phone book.
- If all else fails, try Google – type the name of your town + CHAIR YOGA in your search engine, and you may find classes in your area.