Chair Yoga Part One

As a yoga teacher that is also a Physical Therapist, I have gravitated towards teaching gentle yoga classes featuring many modifications and options to allow individuals with all levels of flexibility and strength participate.  One of my favorite props is a chair.  It acts as an extension of either the arms or the legs and allows participants to experience asanas they would otherwise be unable to enjoy.  This post and my next will feature some of my most utilized chair postures.  Enjoy

Sitting Mountain Pose

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands in prayer position (chest height)
  2. Lift the spine up and pull the shoulder blades down and in
  3. Actively press your feet into the ground
  4. Keep your abdominal muscles strong as you perform yoga breathing
  5. Hold this position and focus on your breathing for at least 30 seconds

 

 

 

 

Chair Balance the Cat

  1. Stand 2-3 feet away from the back of your chair
  2. Bend down and hold onto the back of the chair
  3. Engage the abdominals
  4. Exhale and lift the R leg up
  5. Hold for 5-10 breaths
  6. Lower the leg down and repeat for the other side

Variation: hold onto front of the chair for a deeper bend (as pictured)

 

Chair Upward Facing Dog

  1. Rest a sturdy chair against a wall or on a mat
  2. Stand 2’ away from the front of the chair
  3. Rest your hands on the front edge of the seat
  4. Inhale and step the feet back an additional 1-2’, resting the balls of the feet on the floor
  5. Exhale, shift your weight forward and drop your hips
  6. Keep the legs, trunk and arms active as you hold this position for 5-10 breaths

 

 

 

Chair Downward Facing Dog

  1. Rest a sturdy chair against a wall or on a mat
  2. Stand 2’ away from the front of the chair
  3. Rest your hands on the front edge of the seat
  4. Inhale and step the feet back an additional 1-2’, resting the feet comfortably on the floor
  5. Exhale and shift your weight back and bend from the hips to create an inverted “V”
  6. Hold for 5-10 breaths

 

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. savasana addict
    Jan 18, 2012 @ 13:22:22

    Thanks for sharing this, a refreshing and welcome reminder that yoga is for every body! Another good one I learnt recently is to practise hand stand while lying down on the floor, pushing into the wall behind with stretched out arms – developed by someone in a wheel chair. It really trains the muscles needed for the balance very well.

    Reply

    • Martin
      Apr 08, 2012 @ 11:36:30

      I like this modification of sun suittaalon doing it from a seated position would allow people with knee, ankle, or foot issues to maintain some hip and upper body flexibility, which increases lung capacity and massages internal organs, which increases feelings of well-being. It reminds me that some yoga is always better than no yoga. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

  2. Rashmita
    Apr 09, 2012 @ 15:01:10

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    Reply

  3. Woodrow
    Oct 01, 2012 @ 10:54:28

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    Reply

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