URFit On Demand review: chair yoga

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Two people are in a room with bright turquoise and fuschia wallpaper. The person to the left lays on their side on the floor, stretching their leg and arm up to accomplish a yoga pose, while the person on the right wears a karate-gi while holding their arms out in a ready pose as their legs rest in a straddle position.
Sneak attack incoming in three… two… one… Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay and OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay, manipulated by lee lim

A 20-minute routine you can use as a study break to get blood pumping while plowing through papers

Beginning on November 28, 2020, videos began to be uploaded for URFit On Demand, an online option available to University of Regina (U of R) students for a variety of at-their-leisure fitness courses. Accessing these videos for registered students is as simple as heading to mediaspace.uregina.ca/, logging in with your regular U of R website login info, and searching “URFit” once logged in. 

At present there are nearly 150 total hours worth of instruction available split between 199 videos, with the most recent upload being from September 23, 2021. I counted no less than 20 different styles of fitness and workout walkthroughs including options like shift (HIIT), tabata, gentle stretching, P90X, zumba, pound, pilates, foam roll, and a variety of bootcamp options to top it all off. 

There’s also an incredible amount of yoga styles to explore: hatha, yin, ashtanga, fit fusion flow, multi-level, chair, and then a few just labeled “yoga” so I suppose you’ll have to follow through with those videos to learn which styles are used. I’d never tried chair yoga and admittedly didn’t know much about it before preparing for this article, so I decided to give the video “Chair Yoga 4 Jessica” from December 20, 2020 a try.  

To start the video review, I do have several compliments for Jessica Lewgood, the instructor for the video. They consistently throughout the 24-minute video remind viewers to be mindful of their posture to be sure they’re getting the most out of the poses and stretches they’re led through, and also offers modifications to positions that may otherwise put painful stress on people’s bodies if they have shoulder or wrist injuries. While I didn’t wind up having to use those modifications, I did greatly appreciate them being suggested. 

One thing that I believe could have improved this video walkthrough would have been a list of supplies you’ll need before the video got underway. While it’s pretty obvious from the name that a chair is necessary, Lewgood also included the use of a strap to amplify impacts of arm and leg stretches. I didn’t have one handy and so had to pause the video, scramble through my room to find the waist tie from a housecoat, and then re-start the video so as to not disrupt the position flow or my headspace. Another helpful note would have been mentioning that a chair without arms is ideally what you’ll want to use; I found that some of the positions were a bit hard to pull off while sitting in my high-armed desk chair. 

Overall I found that Lewgood was great at explaining how to move your body to achieve each position, though used terms like “the ring of your ribcage” which meant, as someone not that familiar with yoga terminology, that I had to sit and think for a second (removing myself from the nice relaxed headspace I was in) before I could realize what they meant. Going over terminology like this prior to the start of the video would ensure more first-timers like myself would be able to slip into the flow of things without interruption.  

At the video’s end Lewgood leads viewers through a short relaxation meditation, focusing viewers on congratulating themselves for having taken the time to show their body and mind care – quite wholesome.  

Overall I can say I’ll likely be running through this routine again in the near future – as a student I’m in a chair frequently anyhow, may as well get some motion in – and I’ll definitely be exploring the rest of what URFit On Demand has to offer. 

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