Yoga is known to be a great way to improve flexibility and stay in shape. Chair Yoga is a gentle version of yoga in which postures are performed while seated and/or with the aid of a chair. Every Chair Yoga pose is perfect for people who want to focus on a gentle practice or who find a typical yoga session too challenging. It is also a great introduction for beginners to the wonderful benefits of yoga.
Just like a regular yoga practice, Chair Yoga increases flexibility, strength, and body awareness. When standing poses are included in a Chair Yoga class, the chair is used to help with and improve balance. Chair yoga may also include breathing techniques and meditation to promote focus, mental clarity, and relaxation.
Just about any standard yoga pose can be modified for chair yoga, including backbends, forward folds, twists, and hip openers. Remember, the key is any yoga practice is the breath. Remember to gently inhale and exhale through your nose throughout your practice. Synchronizing breath with your movement allows you to stretch for longer plus reap the benefits of breathing: relaxation, calmness, tranquility, and a slower heart rate. You can destress and keep moving at the same time.
Chair Yoga Pose Examples
In the chair version of mountain pose, you would sit with your feet flat on the floor and knees at a 90-degree angle. Slowly raise your arms with palms facing. Gaze between your hands. Lower your arms back to the side and return your gaze straight ahead. Repeat throughout your practice, focusing on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling through the nose.
Sitting in a chair, align your feet with your knees. Then place your hands on your knees and sit upright. Gently flex your belly and move it forward, naturally rocking your hips forward, without moving the position of your head. This yoga pose relieves lower back and sciatica pain.
This pose strengthens the spine. Sitting in a chair, align your feet with your knees and place your hands on your knees. Sit upright. Without moving your hips or shifting in the chair, curl your head forward until you’re looking down. Continue the movement to your shoulders, and finally rounding your back. Think of a cat making a big stretch after waking from a nap.
This pose improves your spine’s flexibility. While sitting in your chair, bend over and place your right palm on the floor, outside your left foot. Extend your left arm skyward. Turn your head to follow your left arm, to gaze at your left hand. Take a moment to feel the stretch, then do the opposite side. Place your left palm on the floor, outside your right foot. Extend your right arm up and follow it with your gaze to the right hand.
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