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The benefits of Seated Exercise for all Ages and Fitness Levels

By 29th November 2022 No Comments

What can seated classes do for you?

At Synergy, we provide seated dance and yoga classes for juniors, teens, adults and seniors – our programmes are called ParaStars Yoga® and ParaStars Dance™. Each course is designed to suit a range of abilities and needs from those who are wheelchair based, to the visually impaired and those with sensory impairments, those with a long-term health condition (LTHC) such as cancer, heart disease, cerebral palsy or Dementia or these seeking to return to exercise after a break.

We recognize that some participants will have very limited range of movement which they are wishing to expand, and others may have some upper body and lower body movement.

Seated classes are not a soft option – they are fun, challenging, upbeat and innovative – they enable participants to increase resilience and fitness and many people feedback asking us to make them even harder – so we now have different levels depending on where you are starting from!

Feel the benefits…

The many benefits of our ParaStars Yoga® course is to provide improved posture, fitness, physical & motor skills, spatial awareness, balance, coordination and flexibility. We provide a stress relieving programme to increase confidence, range of movement & to enrich everyday life. These lessons include some exercises for upper body only and some exercises for upper and lower body to offer diversity and levels.

Research suggests that yoga is beneficial to physical and mental health. Traditional Asana practice can be a great aid to maintain/improve mobility, spinal health and flexibility as well as mental health benefits.

Why Seated Yoga?

During lockdown we launched our specialist programme ParaStars Yoga® for delivery both in person and as a digital resource.

Some participants are approaching yoga with perceived limitations due to age, illness, injury and other factors. Practicing yoga in a chair helps people to reap the benefits of yoga in a way that is respectful to their body, and effective in its benefits.

ParaStars Yoga® – the Synergy seated yoga programme adapts traditional yoga poses so they can be performed while sitting in a chair. ParaStars Yoga® is a moderate exercise that promotes flexibility and strength. It also encompasses the beneficial guided breathing and gentle movement which can help manage stress.

ParaStars Yoga® can improve proprioception and give you a greater understanding of (and therefore control over) your body and its movements. It can help lessen the impact of chronic illnesses and pain and being calmer can create a greater feeling of happiness and well-being.

Uncontrolled stress and anxiety may affect the perception of pain, as well as heart rate and blood pressure. Our seated Yoga’s guided breathing and gentle movements can help regulate stress cycles and reduce anxiety, which, in turn, helps manage response to pain, reduce heart rate and lower your blood pressure.

  • Practiced in a chair, our ParaStars yoga® remains excellent in working the muscles, softening the fascia and keeping people mobile. Different ranges of flexibility and mobility may impact the range of movement of participants who practice in a chair, but most will benefit from stretching and relaxing the musculoskeletal apparatus.
  • Increasing strength – our Synergy exercises in chairs can be very helpful in building strength, or even preserving it.
  • Our ParaStars yoga® can help correct and improve posture. Issues such as back and neck pain can commonly derive from incorrect posture, both seated and in normal daily life.
  • Our ParaStars yoga® requires participants to sit upright and work from a balanced seated posture.
  • Cardio fitness: depending on the pace and energy level of participants, the repetition of postures, and especially flowing sequences can stimulate cardiac exercise, and increase heart health.


Meeting participants where they are:

Teaching in chairs, with a mostly seated practice is a great way to include a yoga practice to people who might struggle to participate in mainstream mat based classes. This opportunity is usually met with enthusiasm, mixed with a little anxiety around their bodies and whether they will be able to participate in the class as much as they would like to. Fears can also include fear of injury, of looking ‘silly’, or of being left behind.

The principle focus of ParaStars Yoga® chair classes is ultimately that of meeting participants where they are: physically and mentally. Whether they are able to ‘perfect’ the moves is, less critical.

Looking, listening, and giving tools are central ParaStars Yoga® chair yoga classes. No class or participant is the same and we need to celebrate each person’s uniqueness.

Our ParaStars Yoga® classes break down barriers to exercise, with subtitles added for those hard of hearing, helping those with disabilities and/or long-term health conditions who want and need to get more active and rebuild confidence and motivation following the pandemic.

Our dance, yoga and fitness teachers qualified are delivering to these groups to ensure maximum benefit. Many people with disabilities and long-term health conditions were more negatively impacted by the pandemic from having to shield, suffering additional feelings of fear and isolation due to their conditions and need support to rebuild confidence, resilience, physical and mental health and wellbeing. To join our ParaStars yoga® programme as teacher, contact and claim a 10% discount quoted EMDCHAIR

Parastars Dance™ – Why seated dance?

 For our ParaStars Dance™ programmes, participants of all ages will improve flexibility, muscle strength & well-being, whilst seated at home or in a residential setting. Upbeat music and fun dance moves will boost resilience and fitness. Other benefits include stress reduction, aiding flexibility, toning and helping to boost the immune system.

The purpose of our programmes is to support the participants in developing a variety of skills. Classes allow all participants to progress, and there is a gradual increase in complexity each week appropriate to the age range.

The participants of our ParaStars Dance™ programme will:

  • Explore and experience different ways of moving.
  • Develop personal creativity and expression through movement and dance.
  • Practice coordination and rhythm through percussive and repetitive movements.
  • Gain confidence and enhance their wellbeing through fun and engaging dance classes.

Many of our service users are people with special educational needs, disabilities (“SEND”) and long-term health conditions (“LTHCs) exacerbated by multiple lockdowns causing the loss of normal social structures, isolation from friends and disruption to the education of children and young people. Research from the Centre of Mental Health shows that, in England, 1.5 million children and young people under 18 will need new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are struggling to get to venues that are accessible e.g. they are disabled, older people, have long term health conditions and/or mobility issues, don’t drive and have no suitable accessible classes nearby or accessible easily via public transport. Our seated online courses offer more flexibility to exercise at a time to suit.

Reaching everyone…

Synergy seated dance and yoga programmes offer new support to both young people, adults and the elderly – who are all facing different challenges – and can benefit so much from our ParaStars Yoga and Dance programmes as part of their routine.

To join our programmes as a teacher contact –

Exercise with us anytime, anywhere:

To Talk With Us about ParaStars Dance or Yoga in your venue – contact