One of the great things about yoga is that it can be adapted to accommodate body and space limitations.
Are you recovering from foot, ankle, or knee surgery and want a non-weight bearing option for your yoga practice?
Do you have some balance concerns?
Have you tried conscious breathing and yoga postures while sitting at work or on an airplane?
Chair yoga might appeal to you.
The tradition of yoga reaches back hundreds of years and includes physical postures, breathing techniques, and spiritual and lifestyle principles.
Yoga is not exclusively what we see in magazines–lithe people creating shapes that seem unattainable for some of us.
Yoga postures, or asanas, are more than the physical shape on creates, but is also the energy behind the postures.
Try these chair yoga warm-ups and postures, each with an adaptation of the traditional physical shape of the pose but with the same energy.
Warm-ups for chair yoga
Inhale, bring your right ear towards your right shoulder. Exhale here. Inhale, bring your chin towards your chest. Exhale here. Inhale, bring your left ear towards your left shoulder. Exhale here. Go from side to side 4 times.
Inhale, bring your shoulders forward and up towards your ears. Exhale, bring your shoulders back and down. Repeat 8 times.
Chair yoga poses
Seated Cat pose
Seated Cat Pose offers the opportunity for spinal flexion.
Traditional Cat Pose is performed on the hands and knees. In the seated option, instead of weight bearing thru the shoulders and knees we weight bear thru the sitz bones. This offers a different perspective for pelvic floor muscle awareness.
As you exhale, pull your lower abdomen in as you curl your tailbone under. Allow your pelvis to curl under, your spine to create a C shape, and chin towards chest.
As you inhale, imagine your tailbone untucks, coming back into a neutral spine.
Seated Cow pose
Seated Cow Pose offers the opportunity for spinal extension.
Picture your pelvic basin as a bowl. As you inhale, imagine tipping the bowl forward, bringing your pubic bone down and hip points forward as your back arches and sternum lifts.
Exhale, coming back into a neutral spine.
Seated Mountain pose
You might be familiar with practicing Mountain Pose in a standing position. In standing, we ground thru our feet. In sitting, we ground through our sitz bones and our feet.
Sit at the edge of your chair. Imagine the soles of your feet are plugging down into the ground. Imagine the sitz bones are heavy, allowing the tissues that surround the sitz bones to sink into the chair. At the same time, lengthen thru the spine and up thru the top of the head.
You can also extend your arms up toward the ceiling, reaching out thru the fingertips while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
Notice the energetic difference between standing and seated Mountain Pose.