Enjoy the many benefits of yoga even with limited mobility with these 5 pose modifications you can do in a chair…
If you have limited mobility, are recovering from an injury, or suffering from another physical impairment, chair yoga can be a great way to improve mobility and maintain function without putting too much stress on your body. Doing yoga in a chair can also be a good option for seniors who have trouble getting up and down off the floor, but want to maintain flexibility, muscle tone, and joint function in order to have a better quality of life as they age. You can also do yoga in a chair at work to help relieve some of the stiffness and tension that comes from working in a seated position all day, without interrupting your workday!
Many popular yoga poses can be modified to be done in a chair. You can do yoga twists, hip stretches, forward bends, and even mild backbends while seated. Although chair yoga may not give you all of the benefits of weight-bearing yoga poses, you will still be able to experience reduced stress, improved flexibility, better sleep, improved lung function, and more of the many benefits of yoga.
Here are 5 yoga poses you can do in a chair:
1.) Chair Cat-Cow Stretch
Come to sit on a chair with the spine long and both feet on the floor. Place your hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs.
On an inhale, arch your spine and roll your shoulders down and back, bringing your shoulder blades onto your back. This is cow position.
On an exhale, round your spine and drop your chin to your chest, letting the shoulder and head come forward. This is cat position.
Continue moving between cow on the inhalations and cat on the exhalations for five breaths.
2.) Chair Forward Bend Pose
On an exhalation, come into a forward bend over the legs.
Let the hands rest on the floor if they reach it. Let the head hang heavy.
On an inhalation, raise the arms back up over the head.
Repeat this movement between a raised arms position and a forward fold several times, moving with the breath.
After your final forward bend, stay folded.
3.) Chair Extended Side Angle Pose
Bring your left fingertips to the floor on the outside of your left foot.
Open your chest as you twist to the right on an inhale, bringing your right arm and gaze up at the ceiling. This is your chair version of extended side angle pose. Hold here for several breaths. Bring the right arm down on an exhale.
If your left hand doesn’t come easily to the floor, place a block under it or bring it to your left knee instead and twist from there.
Do the same position with the right arm down and the left arm up.
4.) Chair Pigeon Pose
Come back up to sit.
Bring your right ankle to rest on your left thigh, keeping the knee in line with your ankle as much as possible. Hold this chair pigeon for three to five breaths.
You may forward bend to intensify the stretch if you like. Repeat with the left leg.
5.) Chair Eagle Pose
Cross your right thigh over your left thigh for eagle pose. If you can, wrap the right foot all the way around the left calf.
Cross your left arm over the right one at the elbow. Bend the elbows and bring your palms to touch.
Lift the elbows while dropping the shoulders away from the ears. Hold three to five breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
Visit VeryWellFit.com for pictures + more chair yoga poses…