Chair Yoga is for everyone. No matter what age you are or what condition you are in you can experience the health benefits of yoga.
Did you know you can perform most yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and relaxation techniques from a chair? Even if you are the laziest person in the world you’ll love Chair Yoga. Seriously this form of yoga is very easy to do no matter what condition you are in.
Desk Job Tension Reliever
If you work at a desk all day this form of yoga can be a great pick-me-up and tension reliever. I know from experience that when you get caught up in an assignment, especially when working at a computer (and who doesn’t these days?); your body just locks into one position and muscles get tense. You’re so involved in what you are doing that you don’t feel the results until the end of the day.
Just taking a few minutes out of your work day to perform just one or two Chair Yoga postures, to reduce the likely hood of tense shoulders and back or even tension headaches, will make a difference. These yoga stretches will rejuvenate you.
Injury Recovery and Disabilities
Recovering from an injury may limit your mobility, but doing Chair Yoga will maintain, stretch, and strengthen your body as you recover. If you have a disability it will help you manage the disability and keep your body in the best condition possible. It will give you peace of mind and self-esteem to know you are doing something good for your body, mind, and spirit.
So here we go, a simple straight back chair (kitchen chairs are well suited or even a folding chair will do). The chair is not only used for the seated postures but as a support for many of the standing postures as well.
As a warm up begin with a few simple shoulder rolls and then shake out your arms and hands. Here are six Chair Yoga postures to get you started.
An important point to remember is to never push your body to the point that causes pain. You will still get the benefit of the postures even if you are not very flexible. The best part is, if you do yoga on a regular basis your flexibility and strength will increase. Also be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise practice, especially if you have any special health concerns.
1. Forward Bend – eases tension in upper back and neck.
Breathe in and as you bend forward breathe out and let your head and arms hang over your knees. Relax into the position and hold for a few seconds while breathing normally. Breathe in as you slowly come back up to seated position.
2. Spinal Twist – increases circulation and flexibility in the spine.
Sit facing forward place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Place your right arm over the back of the chair. Breathe in and breathe out as you twist to the right. Turn your head as well. Push against your right knee to create more leverage. Breathe normally and hold the position. Release slowly and come back to facing forward and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Side Stretch – increases flexibility of the spinal column, improves respiration, and reduces waistline.
Sit facing forward with feet slightly apart, breathe in, and raise your arms out to the sides. Breathe out and bend to the left, reaching toward the floor with your left hand and your right hand pointing toward the ceiling. Breathe in come back to starting position. Repeat with your right side.
4. Knee Squeeze – relaxes lower back, improves digestion and respiration.
Breathe out completely then breathe in with both hands around the front of your knee pull your knee to your chest, while holding the in breath. Lower your head to your knee hold for a few seconds and release slowly while breathing out. Repeat with your right side.
5. Leg Lifts – strengthen legs and lower back, and improves circulation to your legs and feet.
Sit and hold each side of the chair for balance. Breathe out and breathe in as you lift your straightened left leg and flex your foot. Hold for a few seconds and then slowly breathe out while lowering your leg. Repeat the same for your right leg.
6. Sun Pose – improves circulation to your head, massages internal organs, and limbers your spine and hips.
Sit back in the chair with legs apart and arms by your side. Breathe out completely then breathe in and with a sweeping motion bring your arms up over your head. Look up and stretch. Breathe out while bending forward between your legs and if you can put your palms on the floor. Slowly breathe in while raising back up with arms over head again, then lower your arms to the side.
There you have it Chair Yoga the perfect routine for anyone in almost any condition. Do these yoga stretches once a day or even just three times a week and you will experience improvement in flexibility and strength.
Download these free printable yoga exercises.
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