Chair Yoga for Caregivers Offers Accessible, Gentle Self-Care

September 14, 2021

What if you could develop a yoga practice that heals your body, mind, and soul—without requiring prior experience or significant time investment?

You can, when you join Chair Yoga for Self-Care and Self-Love, offered online by Yoga4Caregivers for FCA.

Begin a simple yoga practice that can help calm your nervous system, promote rest and wellness, and enable a sacred space to ground ourselves with self-compassion and self-love so that we can give care from our overflow instead of the depths of the well.

Here, guest teacher and Yoga4Caregivers founder Ellen MacKay shares more about her upcoming FCA class, Yoga4Caregivers.

How did you first have the idea to bring yoga to caregivers?

The pandemic was the catalyst for bringing yoga to caregivers as a community care project. I was looking for a way to do something that would have a direct impact on caregiver mental health and well-being.

Yoga has been helpful for my overall health and well-being and knew it could be useful to caregivers. It’s also an evidence-based practice for anxiety and depression. I believe yoga can serve as a low cost, high-yield option to augment other supports to help support caregivers in crisis.

Quote about yoga

What are the benefits for caregivers who practice yoga?

It’s no secret that caregivers tend to neglect their own health. We feel so guilty taking time to focus on our own needs, yet this is the one thing we can directly influence to improve the support we give to those we care for.

Studies show a regular yoga practice can help reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease and may help reduce high blood pressure and improve circulation and blood flow.

Practicing yoga also helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. When we can learn to cultivate our mind-body awareness, we learn self-regulation, and this is so important for developing resiliency.

As caregivers we spend so much time in a hypervigilant state. If we don’t slow down and take a breath or two, our nervous system never calms down. This leads to inflammation and other health issues.

Yoga helps us to calm our nervous system and evoke the relaxation response, so we can find “rest and digest” for own wellness and to better support the people in our care.

What’s a virtual Yoga4Caregivers class like?

Our classes are accessible, adaptable, suitable for every Body and created specifically with the caregiver in mind. We cultivate a safe space for all of our wonderful diverse caregivers to feel welcomed, respected, valued and supported in our community.

We know caregivers don’t have a lot of time, so we empower daily micro-steps to wellness that over time help caregivers to live a healthier lifestyle. You don’t need to spend an hour to reap the benefits, a little each day can go a long way.

What do caregivers say about your yoga classes?

I’ve been so touched and inspired by the feedback caregivers have shared with us. Here’s what one caregiver in our community had to say: “My husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease about three years ago. I can’t leave him to go to yoga classes, but I was able to take a Yoga4Caregivers class this morning and it was very helpful. My mantra is, ‘Just for today. I am able to make it just for today.’ Thank you!

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Yoga4Caregivers Project was established to support the health, mental health, and well-being of caregivers. Its parent organization, The Caregiver Wellness Collective Inc., which aims to provide holistic wellness education and services to caregivers, inclusive of family, chosen family (LGBTQ), and professionals. LGBTQ Caregivers can find more helpful information and link to our holistic wellness education and services at www.lgbtqcaregivers.org 

Sign up for Chair Yoga for Self-Care and Self Love with Yoga4Caregivers, which takes place on September 29, 2021 at 11 a.m. (Pacific Time)
See all of FCA’s upcoming events and classes on our site.
For more information about self-care for caregivers, see the Caring for Yourself section on our site.