Home Yoga Exercises Chair Yoga Sequence for the Whole Body and Mind

Chair Yoga Sequence for the Whole Body and Mind

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As you follow, strive a motion as soon as to see if it’s comfy. If it feels prefer it’s working for your body, contemplate doing just a few repetitions relatively than holding in a static means.

Tips for Teachers

Empower Your Students

Use invitational language reminiscent of “try this position” or “see how it feels to do this,” relatively than command language reminiscent of “do this” or “do that.” This empowers college students to make selections concerning how one can transfer their our bodies relatively than merely observe directions.

Learn more about how to make yoga accessible for all types of bodies

Let Go of the Perfect Pose

Ask your self in case you are educating a bodily follow that’s nearly transferring the body into shapes. Or, is your providing aligned with the underlying function of yoga—connecting with the coronary heart? Advanced yoga is not only about difficult asana. This understanding can create a extra welcoming, much less competitive setting.

Teach Interoception

Yoga permits us to shift our focus from the exterior world to the inside world. This internal consciousness, interoception, helps us to turn out to be extra delicate to our experiences. Invite your college students to note what is going on of their our bodies. For instance, are there sensations in the bones, joints, muscle mass, or organs? Are they feeling drained or awake, hungry or full, scorching or chilly? This is a time to watch relatively than choose.

Deepen Your Practice

Find the “Why” in Each Pose: Identify a pose’s underlying advantages, then attempt to entry these advantages with props. For instance, when practising coronary heart openers reminiscent of Cobra Pose, a seated model utilizing a bolster in your lap might help you anchor into your palms, open your chest, and reduce the backbend’s depth. This permits you to concentrate on opening in a acutely aware means.

Explore Trial and Error: As you follow, strive a motion as soon as to see if it’s comfy. If it feels prefer it’s working for your body, contemplate doing just a few repetitions relatively than holding in a static means.

Use Your Creativity: Let the underlying function of the follow—whether or not it’s leisure, strengthening, or elevated mobility—encourage you. As lengthy as you are feeling protected in your follow, it’s enjoyable to discover and create by yourself or together with your instructor.

1. Centering

Woman sitting upright in a chair
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Sit in your chair together with your again supported and your toes grounded on the flooring (or on props in case your toes don’t simply attain the flooring). Take a second to examine your posture and lengthen your backbone. To do that, exhale, feeling vitality transferring down into the earth. Inhale, and discover vitality rising up from the earth by way of your body as you elongate your backbone.

2. Neck Rolls

Woman doing neck rolls in a chair
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Inhale, and lengthen your neck. Exhale, and decrease your chin to your chest. Inhale, and roll your head to the proper, bringing your proper ear towards your proper shoulder. Exhale, and deliver your chin towards your chest. Inhale, and roll your head to the left. Exhale, and deliver your chin to your chest. Continue for 3–5 rounds.

Avoid rolling your head again, since you may grind your vertebrae collectively, inflicting pointless compression in your cervical backbone.

If you’ve arthritis or osteoporosis, strive these strikes as micromovements, that means as delicate, inside actions with virtually no movement in any respect.

3. Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat-Cow Poses)

Composite of woman doing cat-cows in a chair
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Exhale, and spherical your again like a cat, tucking your chin towards your chest and sliding your palms down your knees, making “claws” together with your fingers. Inhale, carry your chest, and gently arch your again right into a Cow form. Continue for 3–5 rounds.

Avoid rounding your again when you have osteoporosis. Instead, strive sitting tall with a impartial backbone, transferring into Cow Pose, then returning to an extended backbone.

4. Goddess Twist

Woman performing a goddess twist in a chair

Widen your legs, and flip your toes outward. You can place your toes flat on the flooring, or on blocks to extend the stretch in your internal thighs and hips. Raise your arms out to your sides at about shoulder height. Bend your elbows to 90 levels. Inhale to elongate your backbone. Exhale, and flip your torso to your proper. Inhale to return to middle. Exhale, and twist to the left. Continue for 3–5 rounds.

5. Foot Movements

Close-up of flexed foot on a blanket
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Extend your toes out in entrance of you, inserting them on the flooring, a folded blanket, or a bolster. Explore totally different foot actions, making an attempt to coordinate them together with your breath. Roll your toes back and forth like windshield wipers. Slowly level and flex your toes. Try spreading your toes aside and squeezing them again collectively. Try different foot actions like circling your toes or pretending to attract letters in the air together with your toes. Spend 15–30 seconds per foot on every transfer.

6. Arm Raises

Front shot of woman in a chair with both arms raised
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Bring your arms out to the sides of your body together with your palms dealing with up. Imagine your breath is like helium filling a balloon, and visualize that you just’re filling your arms with it as you inhale. Observe your arms lifting, as if on their very own, simply from the energy of your breath. When you attain the high of your vary of movement, exhale, flip your palms to face the earth, and enable your arms to drift down slowly. Repeat 3–5 occasions.

7. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) with a Bolster

Woman using a bolster to assist with cobra pose in a chair
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Place a bolster in your lap and drape your arms over the prop to carry it towards your stomach. Exhale, and lean ahead over the bolster, gently reducing your head. Inhale, lengthen your neck, then slowly carry your head, neck, and higher chest. Keep your shoulders again and, utilizing your palms, gently pull the bolster towards your stomach, which might help lengthen your backbone much more. Continue transferring in and out of the form, or maintain the backbend for 3–10 breaths, then slowly launch by reversing the actions you used to return into the pose.

8. Leg Stretch

Woman using a yoga strap to do a leg stretch from a chair

Sit tall with each toes grounded. Lift your proper leg in an effort to wrap a yoga strap round your proper foot. Elongate your proper leg and relaxation your foot on a bolster or block. Keep your left knee bent and your foot grounded. Hold the ends of the strap in your palms, and use the rigidity to assist carry and lengthen your backbone as you inhale. Exhale and, with out rounding your again, hinge your torso ahead barely till you are feeling a stretch in the again of your proper leg. Hold for 3–5 breaths. Return to the start place. Repeat on the different aspect.

9. Savasana (Corpse Pose) with Neck Support

Woman reclining in a chair with a blanket around neck
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

To follow safely in a chair, slide your toes ahead relatively than having them straight beneath your knees. This will assist stop you from slipping out when you go to sleep. Now examine that your neck is effectively supported throughout the leisure. A rolled-up blanket can function a neck pillow when you wrap it round your neck like a shawl. You might additionally use an airplane pillow, or place your chair towards a wall and have a blanket or pillow behind your head. Let your body calm down, shut your eyes when you like, and relaxation. Stay for 5–20 minutes.

10. Deerga Swasam (Diaphragmatic Breathing)

Woman sitting upright in chair with bolster in lap
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Sit tall, and relaxation your palms on a bolster, or deliver one palm to your stomach. Inhale, feeling your stomach develop. As you exhale, really feel your diaphragm calm down, which naturally attracts your stomach again towards your backbone. Work together with your pure respiratory rhythm with nice consciousness. Then, when you’re comfy, strive lengthening your inhalations and exhalations just a few seconds longer than your regular rhythm. Try to not pressure to breathe. Stay for 3–5 minutes.

11. Making Friends with Your Mind Meditation

Woman sitting upright in chair with hands on thighs
Photo: Sarit Z. Rogers

Sit tall and deepen your breath just a bit. Do a fast body scan, noticing how you are feeling. Are you nervous, drained, relaxed, comfortable, or one thing else? If any feelings come up, enable your self to expertise them. Whenever you’ve an emotion or thought, say sure. Spend a couple of minutes practising this system. To end, discover how you are feeling. Take just a few full breaths and thank your self for spending time practising meditation.


Jivana Heyman is the founder and director of Accessible Yoga. He lives together with his husband and two youngsters in Santa Barbara, California. Learn extra at jivanaheyman.com.

Text tailored from Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body by Jivana Heyman. Shambala Publications, 2019.

Model teaches yoga to under-resourced and extremely traumatized communities which have quite a few emotional, bodily, and psychological challenges. Learn extra at idreaminyoga.com.

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