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Chair Yoga for COPD Patients

Editors Note: It is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

In one COPD forum, there was a question asked: What's one topic related to living with COPD you'd like to read/hear more about?

There were many responses, and one I saw was asking about chair yoga for people with COPD. I have done chair yoga quite a few times, but mostly, I do tai chi. With all the requests about chair yoga, I thought that I’d share the top five chair yoga movements that I like that could be very beneficial to those with COPD.

Benefits of chair yoga for COPD management

There are some benefits that someone with COPD can get from doing chair yoga, including:1

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  • Enhanced breathing techniques: Pranayama breathing techniques can help you manage symptoms of breathlessness by strengthening your respiratory muscles.
  • Relaxation techniques to manage stress and anxiety
  • An aid to help you quit smoking
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Better balance and range of motion

Chair yoga isn’t just beneficial to someone with COPD but also for anyone who has mobility issues or who can not stand for longer periods of time. You can also do the yoga standing with the aid of a chair for balance if you are more mobile.

I found many great COPD yoga videos online and on YouTube. My favorite to watch is from The COPD Foundation that I found on You Tube. Always try use a sturdy chair with no arms.

Top five chair yoga stretches

The top five chair yoga stretches that I think are the most helpful:

  1. Stretch your right arm up over your head and lean over to the left side, roll forward a bit like you are going to do a seated sit up, then roll back up, and repeat this a few times and then put your arm back down and then repeat this with your left arm over your right side.
  2. Stretch your arms up in the air like doing a jumping jack- slowly up and then bring your arms back down again. Repeat this a few times, and then you will give yourself a big hug and stretch through your shoulders. Repeat this a few times.
  3. Start with your arms out to the side, bring them into the center like you are hugging a beachball, then push your arms out towards your back like you are going to hug that ball behind your back. Repeat a few times.
  4. Warrior pose: turn to your side, right leg forward, and your left leg out to the back and extend your arms out and press into the feet and then extend your arms up, pause for a few and then take it forward and then repeat on the other side.
  5. Go to the back of the chair and use it to steady yourself and do a tree pose. Repeat on each side. You can put your arm out to each side when you do that side.

Exploring more chair yoga poses

These are just some of the poses that I like to do. There are many and it is very hard trying to explain them without a video, so if you want, you can look up this and many more videos online.

Do you do any type of yoga or daily exercises? Please share with us in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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