Top Five Chair Yoga Poses

Chair yoga is a wonderful way to stay active and get the benefits of yoga, while staying seated. This practice is ideal for yogis who have a seated job, practice an instrument, are recovering from an injury, or have limited mobility. Here are five easy chair yoga poses to get you started.

1. Full Lotus Pose

Sanskrit: Padmasana

How to do it

Start in a normal seated position. Bend the left knee and open to the left. Then place the left heel in the right hip crease, letting the knee rest on the chair. Now bend the right knee and place it on top of the left, letting the heel rest in the left hip crease. Repeat on other side.

Benefits

Opens the hips, stretches the ankles and knees, and calms the mind.

2. Eagle Pose

Sanskrit: Garudasana

How to do it

Bring both arms in front of you. Wrap right elbow underneath the left, until the right palm touches the left palm. Lift the elbows off the chest. Bring the right leg up, over, and around the left, until the right foot is wrapped around the left ankle. Draw elbows and knees to midline. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

Improves balance, strengthens and stretches shoulders and ankles, and increases concentration.

3. Figure Four

Sanskrit: Ardha Utkatasana

How to do it

Shift weight to the left foot and lift the right foot. Place the right foot on top of the left knee. Let the knee come to parallel with the floor, keeping the foot flexed. Options to bring the hands at heart center and lean forward or grab for the left ankle. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

Relieve lower back tension, stretch the outer hip and glutes, and improve focus.

4. Reverse Warrior

Sanskrit: Viparita Virabhadrasana

How to do it

Start in Warrior II with the right foot forward, right knee over the ankle and left foot at a perpendicular. Bring the right arm to the back thigh or calf. Reach the left arm up and back and gaze towards the top hand. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits

Strengthens the legs, opens up the side bodies, neck, and back, and builds strength.

5. Wide-legged Forward Fold

Sanskrit: Prasarita Padottanasana

How to do it

Stand a few feet away from the chair’s back and rest both hands there. Bring your feet out past hip width distance, with toes in and heels out. Gently ease yourself down, letting the chest melt towards the floor. Keep the shoulders and arms in a straight line.

Benefits

Lengthens the spine, improves hip flexibility and stretches the back of the legs and lower back.

Find a full chair yoga sequence on my Instagram here.

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