Chair yoga poses allow you to reap the benefits of yoga without needing to leave your seat. It’s great for people of all ages and experience levels, including seniors, desk workers taking a stress relief session during the work day, and anyone who may have mobility limitations and cannot perform traditional yoga poses. Chair yoga is an easy way to start or maintain a regular yoga practice, leading to advantages like increased flexibility and range of motion, healthier breathing patterns, improved muscle tone, stress and anxiety reduction, and better sleep. Work the following chair yoga poses into your daily routine, and you’ll see results! Seated Chest Lift This simple pose opens your chest while stretching your back.
Sit on the edge of your chair with both hands behind you and feet flat on the ground.
With fingers pointing away, grip your seat.
Lift your chest, breathe in, exhale, and release your hands.
Repeat five times.
Seated Warrior Pose This seated version of the traditional pose stretches the sides of your torso and inner thighs.
Place your feet flat on the ground, and sit up straight.
Stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder height, with palms facing downward.
Slowing turn your torso and arms to the left, breathe deeply (one full breath in and out), and then slowly rotate to the right.
Alternate sides from left to right while breathing deeply, and continue the exercise for at least one full minute.
Chair Cat-Cow Stretch This is a great stretch for increasing mobility and flexibility in the spine.
Sit with both feet on the floor with the spine straight. Place your hands on either your knees or the tops of the thighs.
Inhale deeply, and arch your spine and roll the shoulders down and back, bringing your shoulder blades together on your back (cow position).
On the exhale, round your spine and drop your chin to your chest, bringing your head and shoulders forward (cat position).
For five breaths, continue moving between positions, forward and back, coordinating your inhalations and exhalations. Inhale on cow position, and exhale on cat position.
Chair Raised Hands Pose This is a simple and effective spinal stretch.
On your inhalation, raise your arms straight up, parallel with your ears, towards the ceiling.
Relax your shoulder blades down your back as you stretch and reach upwards with your fingertips. Keep your sit bones firmly anchored on your seat as you stretch your arms upwards.
Chair Forward Bend
Start with your feet flat on the ground while sitting up straight.
As you exhale, come into a forward bend over your legs.
Let your head and hands relax and feel heavy, while dropping towards the floor.
As you inhale, raise your arms back up over your head.
Repeat several times as you alternate between the raised arms position, and the forward bend position, coordinating your movements with inhalation and exhalation.
The Neck Opener This pose will help relieve tension and stress in your neck.
Start with your feet flat on the floor, and sit up straight at the edge of your seat.
Stretch your left arm behind your back, grab your left wrist with your right hand, and gently pull towards your right side.
While still holding your wrist, slowly and gently rotate your neck from the right side, back, then up, and then forward and down.
Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Seated Spinal Twist
Sit on the edge of your chair, and place your feet firmly on the ground.
Position your right hand on your left knee, and grasp the back of your chair with your left hand.
Slowly and gently twist towards your chair, hold, and breathe deeply.
Slowly come back to center, then switch sides.
Lower Back and Hamstring Stretch
Start seated all the way back on your chair, and raise your left leg so it’s parallel to the floor.
Position your hands on your left knee, round your back forward, and slowly and gently slide your hands as far as you can reach down your shin bone.
Hold and breathe deeply for one inhalation and one exhalation.
Slowly return to an upright position, come back to the starting position, and then repeat with the right leg extended.
Alternate for one minute, and be sure to breathe deeply.
Chair yoga poses are a great routine for just about anyone. They are an easy way to slip some fitness into your day at almost any time, regardless of your ability or time constraints. If you need further instruction, you may find a good chair yoga instructor in your area.