Blog Mental Health Yoga Chair Yoga 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge: Exercise List, Benefits, and Tips

28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge: Exercise List, Benefits, and Tips

A workout challenge is a great way to kickstart a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s part of SMART goal setting. It’s specific, in that it focuses on a particular type of exercise – chair yoga. It’s measurable, as the challenge lasts for 28 days. It’s achievable, as it can be done in the comfort of your own home. It’s realistic, as it’s suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. And it’s time-based, providing a clear timeframe to work toward.

To help you get started on your 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge, here’s a list of exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine. These exercises are specifically designed to be done while sitting in a chair, which makes them perfect for those with limited mobility or who prefer a more gentle form of exercise.

We’ll also discuss the benefits of chair yoga and provide some tips to help you get the most out of your challenge.

What Is the 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge?

The 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge is a 4-week program that focuses on incorporating chair yoga into your daily routine. Chair yoga is a modified version of traditional yoga poses, which makes it accessible for those who may have difficulty with balance or getting up and down from the floor (4). It also provides a low-impact form of exercise that can improve strength, flexibility, and overall well-being (2).

11 Chair Yoga Exercises for the 28-Day Challenge

As part of the 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge, let’s take a look at some more exercises that can be done using a chair.

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Benefits: 

Mountain Pose helps improve posture, balance, and body awareness. It strengthens the legs, core, and back muscles.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Stand behind your chair with your hands placed lightly on the backrest.
  2. Align your feet hip-width apart and distribute your weight evenly.
  3. Engage your thighs and lift your kneecaps without locking your knees.
  4. Lengthen your spine, roll your shoulders back and down, and lift your chest.
  5. Keep your gaze forward and hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths.
See also
Chair Exercises for Seniors: Why They Are Important and Sample Examples to Try Today

2. Chair-Assisted Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Benefits: 

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and lower back. It can help reduce stress and fatigue.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Stand behind your chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward, keeping your back straight.
  3. Allow your hands to rest on the chair for support.
  4. Let your head hang heavy and soften your knees if needed.
  5. Hold the stretch for 5-8 breaths, then slowly rise back up.

28 day chair yoga challenge  

3. Chair Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

Benefits: 

Warrior I strengthens the legs, opens the hips, and improves focus and stability.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Stand facing the back of the chair with your feet approximately 3-4 feet apart.
  2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot slightly inward.
  3. Square your hips toward the chair.
  4. Bend your right knee over the ankle, keeping your left leg straight.
  5. Lift your arms overhead, holding onto the chair for stability.
  6. Hold for 5 breaths and switch sides.

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4. Chair Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Benefits: 

Warrior II strengthens the legs and arms, improves stamina, and increases flexibility in the groin area.

Steps to Execute:

  1. From Mountain Pose, step your right foot back approximately 3-4 feet.
  2. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot slightly inward.
  3. Bend your left knee over the ankle, keeping your right leg straight.
  4. Extend your arms parallel to the floor, using the chair for balance.
  5. Gaze over your left hand and hold for 5 breaths.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.
See also
8 Chair Yoga Core Exercises To Do At Home

5. Chair Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Benefits: 

Tree Pose enhances balance and concentration while strengthening the legs and core.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Stand tall with your hand resting on the back of the chair for support.
  2. Shift your weight onto your left foot.
  3. Place the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh, calf, or ankle (avoid the knee).
  4. Bring your palms together at your chest or extend one arm if you feel balanced.
  5. Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat on the other side.

6. Standing Cat-Cow (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

Benefits: 

This exercise stretches the spine, improves flexibility, and relieves tension in the back and neck.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Stand behind the chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands on the backrest and take a step back to elongate your spine.
  3. Inhale and arch your back, lifting your chest and tailbone (Cow Pose).
  4. Exhale and round your spine, tucking your chin toward your chest (Cat Pose).
  5. Continue this flow for 5-10 breaths, moving slowly and with control.

7. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Benefits: 

This pose stretches the lower back, hips, and hamstrings while promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale deeply and lengthen your spine.
  3. As you exhale, hinge at your hips to fold forward, allowing your hands to reach toward the floor or your ankles.
  4. Allow your head to relax and breathe deeply for 5-8 breaths.
  5. Slowly rise back up to a seated position.

28 day chair yoga challenge  

8. Seated Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Benefits: 

The Seated Pigeon Pose opens the hips, relieves tension in the glutes and lower back, and can help improve flexibility.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, making sure your right knee is relaxed.
  3. Gently press down on your right knee and lean forward slightly to deepen the stretch.
  4. Hold for 5-8 breaths, then switch sides.
See also
13 Easy Chair Yoga Poses You Can Do at Home

9. Seated Side Stretch (Parsva Sukhasana)

Benefits: 

This pose increases lateral flexibility, stretches the intercostal muscles, and helps open the chest, helping with better breathing.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Sit upright with your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Extend your right arm overhead and place your left hand on the side of the chair or your left thigh.
  3. Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale and lean gently to the left, feeling the stretch along your right side.
  4. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the opposite side.

Read more: 21 Day Chair Yoga: Reasons To Add This Challenge To Your Routine

10. Seated Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Benefits: 

The Seated Spinal Twist improves spinal mobility and can help with digestion.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Sit sideways on your chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right knee.
  3. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale as you twist to the right, looking over your shoulder.
  4. Hold the twist for 5-8 breaths, then switch sides.

11. Seated Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Benefits: 

Eagle Pose stretches the shoulders, upper back, and hips, improving focus.

Steps to Execute:

  1. Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Cross your right thigh over your left thigh and try to tuck your right foot around your left calf if possible.
  3. Wrap your right arm under your left arm, bringing your palms together if you can.
  4. Lift your elbows to shoulder height and hold the pose for 5-8 breaths.
  5. Release and repeat on the other side.

Does Chair Yoga Really Work for Weight Loss?

Chair yoga isn’t typically considered a form of exercise for weight loss, but it can still have benefits for those who are looking to shed some pounds. While chair yoga may not burn as many calories as other forms of exercise such as running or cycling, it can still contribute to an overall healthy and active lifestyle.

See also
Chair Yoga: Why And How To Get The Benefits Of Seated Exercise

Here’s how:

Increased Mobility and Flexibility

As we age, our bodies naturally become less flexible and mobile. This can make it difficult to perform activities that require us to move in certain ways, such as bending down or reaching up high. Chair yoga helps improve mobility and flexibility, making these tasks easier and more manageable (8) (10).

Stress Relief

Stress is a common factor in weight gain, as many people turn to food for comfort during times of high stress. Chair yoga incorporates breathing techniques and mindfulness practices that can help reduce stress levels (10), which can lead to better management of emotions and potentially reduce the need for emotional eating.

Improved Balance and Posture

Chair yoga also helps improve balance and posture, which can have a positive impact on overall health and well-being (3). Better posture can lead to less strain on the body, making it easier to move and exercise without discomfort or injury (7).

Mindful Eating Practices

Mindfulness is a key component of chair yoga and it encourages individuals to be present in the moment and pay attention to their bodies. This practice can translate into other aspects of life, including eating habits. By being more mindful while eating, you may become more aware of your hunger levels and make healthier food choices (5).

Overall Health Benefits

Yoga has been found to have numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and helping with digestion. While chair yoga may not provide the same level of physical exertion as other forms of exercise, it still offers these overall health benefits that can contribute to weight loss (6).

See also
11 Benefits of Chair Yoga: Even The Skeptics Will Want to Try It

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How to Lose Belly Fat with Chair Exercises

Chair exercises won’t specifically target belly fat as spot reduction is not possible. However, incorporating a regular chair yoga practice into your routine can contribute to overall weight loss and promote a healthier body composition.

Here are some tips for using chair exercises to help you lose belly fat:

  • Combine with Cardio: While chair yoga alone may not burn a significant amount of calories, combining it with other forms of cardio exercise (such as walking or jogging) can help increase calorie burn and help with weight loss (1).
  • Focus on Core Strength: Chair poses that engage the core muscles, such as Boat Pose or Warrior III Pose, can help strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles over time. This can lead to a more toned and defined midsection (9).
  • Be Consistent: As with any form of exercise, consistency is the key when it comes to seeing results. You should aim to incorporate chair exercises into your routine at least 3 times a week for best results.

Read more: Unlocking Relaxation: The Magic of Restorative Chair Yoga

28 day chair yoga challenge  

FAQs

  • Does chair yoga count as exercise?

Chair yoga counts as exercise. Any form of movement that gets your heart rate up and challenges your muscles is considered exercise. While chair yoga may not provide the same level of physical exertion as other forms of exercise, it still offers numerous health benefits and can contribute to overall fitness (10).

  • How many times a week should you do chair yoga?

The gentle nature of chair yoga makes it a suitable form of exercise to do every day if desired. However, for most individuals, incorporating chair yoga into their routine 2-3 times a week is sufficient to see and maintain benefits.

  • How can I lose belly fat with chair exercises?

To lose belly fat with chair exercises, follow these tips:

  1. Combine chair exercises with other forms of cardio exercise.
  2. Focus on poses that engage the core muscles.
  3. Be consistent and incorporate chair exercises into your routine at least 3 times a week.
  4. Practice mindful eating habits to support overall weight loss efforts. 

So, instead of focusing solely on losing belly fat, you should aim for overall health and wellness through regular physical activity and healthy eating habits. Chair yoga can be a valuable tool in helping you achieve this goal.

The Bottom Line

Incorporating a consistent yoga practice will ensure you see the best results. With any form of exercise, consistency is the most important factor in experiencing positive change, rather than intensity, volume, or type of exercise. Chair yoga provides an approachable and adaptable alternative to traditional yoga while delivering many of the same great benefits. Completing a 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge will turn this healthy activity into a habit and be a catalyst for a consistently healthier you. 

DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Aerobic exercise alone results in clinically significant weight loss for men and women (2013,nih.gov)
  2. Chair Yoga (n,d,salisbury.sa.gov.au)
  3. Development of a yoga posture coaching system using an interactive display based on transfer learning (2022,nih.gov)
  4. Effect of Chair Yoga Therapy on Functional Fitness and Daily Life Activities among Older Female Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis in Taiwan: A Quasi-Experimental Study (2023,nih.gov)
  5. Mindful Eating: The Art of Presence While You Eat (2017,nih.gov)
  6. Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance (2017,nih.gov)
  7. The Importance of Good Posture (n,d,scoi.com)
  8. The Importance of Flexibility and Mobility (n,d,psu.edu)
  9. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core (2012,harvard.edu)
  10. What Is Chair Yoga & What Are Its Benefits (n,d,ymcawhittier.org)