This life is a gift. The sooner we realize it, the better. Sadly though, chaos and competition often make us ignore this beautiful present. The fact that you have landed on this page is evident that you wish to change the course of your life. Yoga has been an effective and fantastic exercise for decades. It is a holistic health practice that combines physical postures, meditation, and breathwork to enhance overall health (1).
Chair yoga, a modified form, has also gained significant popularity over the past few years. It is a gentle and inclusive form of yoga that caters to all age groups. This accessible practice offers a wonderful opportunity to enhance flexibility, build strength, and cultivate mindfulness. And the best part? It all happens while you stay comfortably seated.
This article will explore advanced chair yoga poses that elevate your practice, fostering a deeper mind-body connection and contributing to overall well-being. Join us as we dive into the world of the best-advanced chair yoga poses and unlock their transformative benefits.
What Is Advanced Chair Yoga?
Advanced chair yoga is a challenging and unique form of yoga performed while the practitioner remains seated. It is designed to facilitate individuals with mobility or physical limitations that make traditional yoga inaccessible.
Essentially, advanced chair yoga is constructed on the foundation of basic chair yoga. It incorporates advanced yoga sequences and may involve a combination of seated poses. Advanced seated yoga poses aim to enhance strength, flexibility, balance, and overall well-being.
When you explore the world of advanced chair yoga, you will encounter more difficult poses, deeper stretches, and more advanced breathing and meditation techniques. Regularly performing this yoga form may eventually bring multiple health benefits, such as improved flexibility, enhanced balance, stress reduction, and increased body awareness (2).
Read More: Yoga Lounge Chair Positions To Try Today
What Is The Hardest Yoga Pose Ever?
By embracing advanced chair yoga poses you embark on a journey that encompasses physical transformation and a deeper connection with yourself. If you are already comfortable with advanced chair yoga poses, you should try to challenge yourself more. Look for the hardest yoga poses and try to expand your capabilities. Check out the most difficult advanced chair yoga poses below:
Reverse Plank On A Chair
- Sit on a chair and position your feet directly below your knees.
- Place your hands firmly on the chair seat, gripping it for support.
- Engage your leg muscles and press down through your feet.
- Lift your hips off the chair, maintaining a strong connection with the ground.
- Keep your chest lifted and aim to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Sit on a chair and keep your chest upright.
- Sit slowly on the chair.
- Bring your hips forward and tighten your glutes when you get back up.
- Go lower on a 4-5 seconds count, and drive up in a second when returning.
Dips are often called advanced flexibility chair yoga poses (5). When performing this exercise:
- Focus on squeezing your elbows and shoulder blades toward each other.
- Ensure that elbows don’t come out from the sides.
- You can put more weight on your feet to challenge yourself or bring your legs straight outwards while resting on your heels.
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How Many Advanced Yoga Poses Are There?
There are many advanced chair yoga poses online. Advanced chair yoga poses for seniors are often quoted as a low-impact, easy-access routine. Following are some of the best-advanced chair yoga poses:
Eagle Arms Chair Pose
The Eagle Arms Chair Pose is a beneficial yoga pose that helps alleviate shoulder, upper back, and neck tension while promoting relaxation and improving posture. Practicing this pose regularly can enhance concentration and focus, particularly during work or study sessions (6).
To perform the Eagle Arms Chair Pose:
- Start by sitting upright on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Extend your arms straight in front of you and then cross your right arm over your left arm, bringing your palms to touch. If possible, interlace your fingers.
- Lift your elbows slightly, gently stretching your upper back and shoulders.
- Maintain a tall, relaxed posture as you hold the pose for 5-8 breaths.
- Afterward, release the pose and repeat the sequence on the opposite side.
Seated Pigeon Pose
Seated Pigeon Pose should be included in your 30-minute chair yoga sequence if you are looking for hip-opening poses. The Seated Pigeon Pose also stimulates energy flow throughout the body and helps alleviate stress (7).
To make a seated pigeon pose:
- Begin by sitting sideways on the chair with your right ankle crossed over your left thigh. Ensure that the knee is bent at a comfortable angle.
- Keep your spine straight and gently press your right knee towards the ground.
- Hold this pose for 5-8 breaths, feeling a deep stretch in the outer hip.
- Repeat on the other side.
Seated Spinal Twist
The Seated Spinal Twist is an excellent pose for improving spinal mobility and releasing tension in the back. The Seated Spinal Twist stretches the muscles along the spine, increases circulation to the spinal discs, and aids in digestion (8).
- Start by sitting tall on the chair, with your feet flat.
- Place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh and gently twist your torso to the right, using your left hand as leverage.
- Keep your spine lengthened and your gaze over your right shoulder.
- Hold for 5-8 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Chair Forward Bend
This seated forward bend pose lengthens the spine and stretches the hamstrings. It also massages the abdominal organs and relaxes the central nervous system. To make this yoga pose:
- Exhale and come forward. Bend over your legs.
- Allow your hands to rest on the floor if they reach there.
- Let your head hang downwards.
- Inhale, then raise your arms back over your head.
- Repeat this movement several times while breathing slowly.
Know that the number of advanced chair yoga poses is not fixed. It depends on different yoga styles, traditions, and interpretations. Yoga is an evolving practice, and advanced yoga poses require higher strength and flexibility.
As new techniques are introduced regularly, quoting the exact number of advanced yoga poses could be difficult. Also, what could be considered advanced for an individual may be easy or intermediate for others.
Does Chair Yoga Really Work?
Gentle chair yoga is low impact and helps to strengthen your muscles. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society observed the effect of chair yoga on seniors with osteoarthritis (9). Participants who completed a 45-minute chair yoga sequence twice a week reported a substantial pain and fatigue reduction than the placebo group.
Regular yoga carries many health benefits, like improved mood and less anxiety. Evidence shows that this applies to several yoga styles, including chair yoga. A study that observed individuals performing chair yoga once a week for three months had less stress and fewer panic attacks (10).
Around 20% of adults face chronic pain at some point. Experts often suggest that yoga could be an effective practice for managing pain. Seniors and individuals with limited mobility should initiate their yoga journey with chair yoga. Gradually, they may adopt advanced chair yoga poses to strengthen their core and improve flexibility.
As with other exercises, the benefits of chair yoga are witnessed when practiced regularly. It would be best if you created a 30-minute chair yoga sequence and stuck to it. The results of this consistency may leave you astounded within a few months!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Advanced-Level Chair Yoga?
Advanced seated yoga poses refer to the complex forms of yoga that are practiced on a chair. It is ideal for individuals who have a strong command of basic chair yoga, and are willing to progress further.
How Many Advanced Chair Yoga Poses Are There?
There is no fixed number of advanced chair yoga poses. Their advancement level depends on different styles, traditions, and an individual’s stamina. Try to create an advanced chair yoga poses chart and keep following it. You should try to progress into deeper routines if you feel you are a pro at chair yoga.
What Are The Best-Advanced Chair Yoga Poses?
Some of the best-advanced chair yoga poses that can challenge your strength and flexibility include the seated eagle pose, seated pigeon pose, and seated spinal twist.
It is important to approach these advanced chair yoga poses with self-awareness and compassion. Each person’s body is unique; you must honor your limitations and boundaries. Always listen to your body and modify the poses to ensure a safe and comfortable practice. If you have any concerns or specific health conditions, it is advisable to seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional.
By incorporating advanced chair yoga poses, you embark on a transformative journey that encompasses physical and mental well-being. Embrace these poses with an open heart and an intention to nurture your body, cultivate mindfulness, and deepen your connection with yourself. Enjoy the profound benefits of advanced chair yoga, and let it enrich your life on and off the mat.
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!
- Yoga (2013, sciencedirect.com)
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Reverse Plank Exercise Guide: How to Master Reverse Planks (2021, masterclass.com)
- How to Do Box Squats With Proper Form (2022, healthline.com)
- How to Do Chair Dips (2019, healthline.com)
- Garudasana (Eagle Pose) (n.d., mobilephysiotherapyclinic.in)
- Pigeon Pose: A How-To Guide (2021, healthline.com)
- Seated Spinal Twist (n.d., classpass.com)
- A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Chair Yoga on Pain and Physical Function Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Lower Extremity Osteoarthritis (2016, agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
- Adapted yoga to improve physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults: a randomised controlled pilot trial (2017, bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com)