Do it at Home
The great thing about yoga—especially chair yoga—is that you can do it anywhere. That’s great for situations like a quarantine when you can’t get out to centers that teach exercise classes.
All you need is yourself, some music you like (or turn on the TV to your favorite show), and a chair.
How do I do it?
Most importantly, only do these exercises if you’ve been cleared by a doctor for chair workouts.
When you begin your yoga chair workout, it’s important to focus on your form to make sure you don’t hurt yourself and to keep everything gentle and low-impact.
None of the movements you’ll do during this yoga exercise should hurt. If anything hurts at all, stop it immediately and go to a gentler movement.
Move slowly, pay attention to your body, and if at any point you have trouble breathing, feel pain, or get lightheaded, stop immediately and take a few sips of water.
Skip movements if you can’t do them or if they make you uncomfortable, and work into them gently—don’t force anything—you’ll become more flexible and stronger as you go!
Try for 20-30 minutes a day, but if you need to start with less time, don’t hesitate to just do 5-10 minutes at a time.
The Perfect 5 Beginner Poses for a Chair Yoga Workout
- Chair Cat/Cow
- Sit on the chair of your choice (we recommend a kitchen chair or computer chair where you can sit up straight!)
- Make sure your back is straight and both feet are on the floor (if your feet can’t touch the floor in your chair, use a lower one so they can)
- Inhale and arch your spine. Roll your shoulders down and back (bring your shoulder blades together when you arch your back)
- Exhale and round your spine and drop your chin to your chest
- Do this for 5 breaths
- Seated Warrior I
- Start in the same seated position as Cat/Cow, feet flat on the ground
- Take a deep breath, and lift your arms out to the sides
- Raise your hands up to meet above your head
- Lace your fingers together, with your pointer fingers and thumbs together and pointing toward the ceiling
- On the exhale, roll your shoulders away from your ears, and relax here for 5 slow breaths
- Chair Forward Bend
- Exhale, and come into a forward bend over the legs
- Let your hands rest on the floor if they reach it, and let your head hang heavy
- Inhale, and raise your arms back up over your head (raise up SLOWLY to avoid getting lightheaded)
- Repeat this whole movement 5 times
- Chair Extended Side Angle
- After your last forward bend, stay in the bent position
- Twist to the right while inhaling, bring your right arm up, and gaze at the ceiling
- Hold here for 5 breaths
- Repeat on your left side
- Do this stretch 5 times on each side
- NOTE: If your hand doesn’t reach the floor, use a block or rest your hand on your knee instead
- Chair Pigeon
- Come back up to a seated position (feet flat on the floor again)
- Bring your right ankle up so it’s resting on your left thigh
- Keep your knee as in line with your ankle as possible
- Hold for 5 breaths
- If you want a deeper stretch, bend forward
- Do each side 5 times
The most important thing about chair yoga is that you practice it safely.
With proper form and consistent use of the chair yoga workout, many people notice that they feel less pain, more flexible, more relaxed, and happier. We hope you do too!