Blog Mental Health Yoga Chair Yoga 7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge for Beginners

7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge for Beginners

This 7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge is designed specifically for beginners who are interested in exploring the benefits of yoga, but may have physical limitations or mobility issues. Chair yoga provides all the same benefits as traditional yoga, including improving flexibility, increasing strength, and reducing stress, but with the added support and stability of a chair (1).

Day 1: Introduction and Basic Stretches

Goal: Familiarize with chair yoga and start with simple stretches.

Welcome to Day 1 of the 7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge. Over the next week, we will explore the basics of chair yoga, helping you improve flexibility, reduce stress, and enhance your overall well-being.

Chair yoga is a gentle form of yoga that can be done while sitting on a chair or standing using a chair for support, which makes it accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Today, we’ll start with basic stretches to ease you into the practice. Remember to listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Variations:

  • If needed, place a cushion behind your back for support.
  • For those with limited mobility, keep your hands on the armrests of the chair.

Neck Stretches (Side to Side)

  1. From Seated Mountain Pose, gently tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear toward your right shoulder.
  2. Hold for 3-5 breaths, feeling the stretch along the left side of your neck.
  3. Return to center and repeat on the left side.

Variations:

  • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on the side of your head with the opposite hand.
  • If you have neck issues, perform these stretches slowly and with minimal range of motion.

Shoulder Rolls

  1. Inhale and lift your shoulders up towards] your ears.
  2. Exhale and roll your shoulders back and down, drawing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Repeat 5-10 times, then reverse the direction.

Variations:

  • Perform one shoulder at a time if you find it difficult to move both shoulders simultaneously.
  • If your mobility is limited, focus on smaller, controlled movements.

BetterMe App helps you achieve your body goals with ease and efficiency by helping to choose proper meal plans and effective workouts. Start using our app and you will see good results in a short time.

Main Poses

Seated Cat-Cow Stretch

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands on your knees or thighs.
  3. Cow Pose: Inhale, arch your back, and lift your chest and chin toward the ceiling.
  4. Cat Pose: Exhale, round your spine, tuck your chin to your chest, and pull your navel toward your spine.
  5. Flow between Cat and Cow for 5-10 breaths.

Variations:

  • Keep your range of motion small if you have back issues.
  • Support your lower back with a cushion if necessary.

Seated Forward Bend

  1. Sit with your feet hip-width apart and firmly on the ground.
  2. Inhale and lengthen your spine.
  3. Exhale and hinge at your hips, folding forward and allowing your torso to drape over your thighs.
  4. Allow your hands to rest on the floor, shins, or thighs.
  5. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly rise back up to Seated Mountain Pose.
See also
Chair Yoga Benefits: 8 Reasons Why You Should Do Seated Exercises

Variations:

  • Use a yoga block or cushion on your thighs to rest your hands.
  • For a gentler version, fold only part way down and keep your hands on your knees.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool-Down: Take a few moments to sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, breathing deeply. Reflect on how your body feels after these initial stretches.

Daily Journal Prompt: Write down any sensations or emotions that arose during the session. Note any areas of tension or difficulty to observe improvements over the course of the challenge.

chair yoga challenge  

Day 2: Upper Body Flexibility

Goal: Focus on increasing flexibility in your upper body.

Welcome to Day 2 of the 7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge. Today, we’ll concentrate on improving flexibility in your upper body, which can help reduce stiffness and tension.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with the palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Gentle Twists

  1. From Seated Mountain Pose, place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right thigh.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, gently twisting your torso to the right.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to center. Repeat on the left side.

Main Poses

Seated Side Stretch

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat, hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale, lift your right arm overhead, and lean to the left.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, feeling the stretch along the right side of your body.
  4. Return to center, switch arms, and stretch to the right.

Seated Eagle Arms

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms in front of you and cross your right arm over your left arm.
  3. Bend your elbows and bring the back of your forearms together.
  4. If possible, wrap your forearms around each other, bringing palms to touch.
  5. Lift your elbows to shoulder height and hold for 3-5 breaths.
  6. Release and repeat with the left arm over the right arm.

Seated Shoulder Stretch

  1. Sit up straight with feet flat, hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your right arm across your chest and hold it with your left arm.
  3. Apply gentle pressure to deepen the stretch.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch arms.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool-Down: Return to Seated Mountain Pose and take a few deep breaths to relax your upper body.

Daily Journal Prompt: Write down any sensations or discoveries from today’s practice. Are there any areas where you felt more flexible or noticed improvement?

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

Day 3: Lower Body Flexibility

Goal: Enhance flexibility in your lower body.

Welcome to Day 3. Today, we’ll focus on enhancing flexibility in your lower body, which is essential for overall mobility and reducing injury risk.

See also
4 Chair Workouts For Abs You Can Do At Your Desk

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Ankle Circles

  1. Extend your right leg and lift your foot off the ground.
  2. Rotate your ankle in circles, 5-10 times in one direction, then switch directions.
  3. Repeat with your left foot.

Main Poses

Seated Hamstring Stretch

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair, extending your right leg with your heel on the floor, toes pointing up.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, hinge forward at the hips, reaching toward your right foot.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch legs.

Seated Figure Four Pose

  1. Sit up straight and place your right ankle on your left thigh, forming a “4” shape.
  2. Gently press down on your right knee to deepen the stretch.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch legs.

Seated Leg Lifts

  1. Sit back on your chair with your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Grab the sides of the chair for support.
  3. Lift your right leg, keeping it straight, and hold for a few seconds.
  4. Lower your leg and switch to the left leg. Repeat 5-10 times for each leg.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool Down: Sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, breathing deeply. Notice how your lower body feels after these stretches.

Daily Journal Prompt: Reflect on today’s practice. Note any stiffness or areas where you felt a significant stretch.

If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!

Day 4: Core Strengthening

Goal: Engage and strengthen your core muscles.

Welcome to Day 4. Core strength is essential for stability and balance and today’s exercises will help you engage and strengthen your core muscles.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Gentle Twists

  1. From Seated Mountain Pose, place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right thigh.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, gently twisting your torso to the right.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to center. Repeat on the left side.

Main Poses

Seated Knee Lifts

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands on the sides of the chair for support.
  3. Inhale and lift your right knee toward your chest.
  4. Exhale and lower it back down. Repeat 5-10 times, then switch to the left leg.

Seated Bicycle Crunches

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out.
  3. Lift your right knee toward your chest while twisting your torso to bring your left elbow toward your right knee.
  4. Return to the starting position and switch sides. Perform 5-10 reps per side.
See also
Transform Your Workspace With 10 Chair Exercises For Lower Back Pain

Seated Side Bends

  1. Sit up tall with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your left hand on your chair seat and extend your right arm overhead.
  3. Inhale and lean to the left, stretching the right side of your body.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch sides.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool Down: Sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, taking deep breaths, and allowing your core muscles to relax.

Daily Journal Prompt: Reflect on how your core feels after these exercises. Note any challenges or improvements.

Day 5: Balance and Stability

Goal: Improve balance and stability using the chair.

Welcome to Day 5. Today, we’ll focus on balance and stability exercises that will help enhance your coordination and prevent falls.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs, palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Gentle Twists

  1. From Seated Mountain Pose, place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right thigh.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, gently twisting your torso to the right.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to center. Repeat on the left side.

Main Poses

Seated Tree Pose

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your right foot on the inside of your left calf or thigh, depending on your flexibility.
  3. Bring your palms together in a prayer position at your chest.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, focusing on maintaining your balance.
  5. Release and switch sides.

Seated Warrior II

  1. Sit sideways on the chair with your right thigh on the chair and your left leg extended out to the side.
  2. Bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle, making sure your knee is above your ankle.
  3. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms facing down.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch sides.

Seated Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  3. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, engaging your core as you lean forward slightly.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then relax.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool-Down: Sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, taking deep breaths, and notice any changes in your balance and stability.

Daily Journal Prompt: Reflect on today’s practice. Did you feel more stable? Were there any poses that were particularly challenging?

chair yoga challenge  

Day 6: Relaxation and Mindfulness

Goal: Incorporate relaxation techniques and mindful breathing.

Welcome to Day 6. Today, we’ll focus on relaxation and mindfulness exercises to help you unwind and cultivate inner peace.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.
See also
13 Easy Chair Yoga Poses You Can Do at Home

Gentle Twists

  1. From Seated Mountain Pose, place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right thigh.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, gently twisting your torso to the right.
  3. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to center. Repeat on the left side.

Main Poses

Seated Forward Fold

  1. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale, lengthen your spine, and exhale, hinge forward at the hips, reaching your hands toward the floor.
  3. Relax your head and neck and hold for 3-5 breaths.
  4. Slowly roll up to sitting position.

Seated Meditation Pose

  1. Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, hands resting on your thighs, palms facing up or down.
  2. Close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths.
  3. Focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.
  4. Stay in this pose for 5-10 minutes, or as long as is comfortable.

Mindfulness Exercise

5-Minute Guided Meditation

  1. Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
  2. Sit comfortably in Seated Mountain Pose.
  3. Close your eyes and listen to a pre-recorded 5-minute guided meditation to help you relax and focus your mind.

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool-Down: Sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, taking deep breaths and feeling the relaxation spread through your body.

Daily Journal Prompt: Reflect on today’s practice. How did the relaxation techniques make you feel? Did you notice any changes in your mindfulness?

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

Day 7: Full Sequence and Reflection

Goal: Combine all the learned poses into a full sequence and reflect on the progress.

Welcome to Day 7. Today, we’ll combine all the poses you’ve learned into a complete sequence and take time to reflect on your progress.

Warm-Up Routine

Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

  1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  2. Lengthen through the spine, reaching the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
  3. Rest your hands on your thighs with palms facing down.
  4. Take a few deep breaths, grounding yourself and becoming aware of your body.

Neck Stretches (side to side)

  1. Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Gently tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear toward your shoulder.
  3. Hold for a few breaths, feeling the stretch along the left side of your neck.
  4. Return to center and repeat on the left side.

Full Sequence

  1. Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  2. Gentle Twists
  3. Seated Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  4. Arm Circles
  5. Side Stretches
  6. Seated Eagle Arms
  7. Seated Shoulder Stretch
  8. Ankle Circles
  9. Seated Hamstring Stretch
  10. Seated Figure Four Pose
  11. Seated Leg Lifts
  12. Seated Knee Lifts
  13. Seated Bicycle Crunches
  14. Seated Side Bends
  15. Seated Tree Pose
  16. Seated Warrior II
  17. Seated Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  18. Seated Forward Fold
  19. Seated Meditation Pose
  20. 5-Minute Guided Meditation

Cool-Down and Reflection

Cool-Down: Sit quietly in Seated Mountain Pose, taking deep breaths, and letting your whole body relax.

Reflection Exercise: Reflect on your journey through the 7-Day Chair Yoga Challenge. Write down any improvements you’ve noticed, areas you found challenging, and how you felt before and after each practice. Congratulate yourself on completing the challenge and acknowledge the progress you’ve made.

See also
Chair Pilates For Seniors With Chronic Pain: Gentle Exercises To Reduce Discomfort

Is Chair Yoga Challenging?

Chair yoga can be as challenging as you want it to be. It’s designed to be accessible to people of all fitness levels, including those with limited mobility. 

Whether you’re engaging in a 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge or following a 30-Day Chair Yoga Challenge, the routines can be adjusted to meet your individual capabilities and goals, providing both gentle stretches and more intensive exercises as needed.

In our previous blog, chair yoga for men, we discussed how to increase the intensity of your chair yoga workouts.

Can You Get in Shape with Chair Yoga?

Absolutely. Regular practice can improve flexibility, strength, and balance, which are essential components of physical fitness (2). A Chair Yoga Challenge for beginners can help you gradually build up your fitness level, while a more advanced 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge for weight loss can help you shed pounds and tone muscles.

How Many Times a Week Should You Do Chair Yoga?

For optimal benefits, it is recommended to practice chair yoga at least 3 to 4 times a week. This frequency allows your body to develop strength and flexibility while also providing ample recovery time. Some prefer a structured program such as a 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge or a 30-Day Chair Yoga Challenge to maintain consistency and track progress.

Is Chair Yoga for Beginners?

Yes, chair yoga is perfect for beginners. It provides a safe and approachable way to start a yoga practice, especially for those who might find traditional yoga poses intimidating or physically demanding. Programs such as the Chair Yoga Challenge for beginners or the 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge for seniors are specifically designed to introduce yoga principles and poses in a comfortable, supported manner.

How Long Does Chair Yoga Take?

A typical chair yoga session can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on the routine and your personal schedule. For example, a 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge might include daily sessions ranging from short, five-minute stretches to more comprehensive, half-hour workouts, which allows you to fit yoga into your day with ease.

chair yoga challenge  

Is Chair Yoga a Cardio Exercise?

While chair yoga primarily focuses on flexibility, strength, and relaxation, certain routines can provide a mild cardiovascular workout. Incorporating dynamic movements and intentional breathwork can elevate your heart rate slightly. For those who are looking for more intensive options, a 28-Day Chair Yoga Challenge for seniors might include cardio elements that are specifically designed to be gentle yet effective.

If you wish to free yourself from all the extra pounds that have been weighting you down for way too long, start using the BetterMe app and overhaul your entire life!

FAQs

  • How many calories does 30 minutes of chair yoga burn?

30 minutes of chair yoga can burn approximately 100 to 150 calories, depending on the intensity of the movements and individual factors such as weight and metabolism.

Embark on a chair yoga journey using our 21-Day Chair Yoga Challenge as the perfect start.

  • How can I lose belly fat with chair exercises?

To lose belly fat with chair exercises, you should focus on incorporating exercises that engage the core muscles, such as seated bicycle crunches, seated leg lifts, and oblique twists, combined with a healthy diet and regular cardiovascular activity.

Note: Spot reduction is not possible and you must engage in overall weight loss and toning for a more significant impact.

  • How can I burn 1,000 calories while sitting?

Burning 1,000 calories while sitting is challenging, but you can achieve it by engaging in high-intensity seated exercises, such as vigorous arm movements, seated marching, or using resistance bands for extended periods, ideally over multiple sessions.

  • Does Chair Pose reduce belly fat?

Chair Pose (Utkatasana) can help reduce belly fat by strengthening and engaging the core muscles, promoting overall muscle tone, and burning calories as part of a balanced exercise routine (3).

  • Is it OK to do chair yoga every day?

Yes, it’s okay to do chair yoga every day. Daily practice can enhance flexibility, strength, and mental well-being, but you should listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed to avoid overexertion.

The Bottom Line

Chair yoga is an excellent way to improve overall physical and mental well-being, regardless of your fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re looking for more challenging routines, there are chair yoga options available for everyone. 

By incorporating regular practice into your routine, you can experience the benefits of increased flexibility, strength, balance, and relaxation. So why not give it a try? Take on the chair yoga challenge today using the tips and resources provided in this guide.

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. Chair Yoga (n,d,salisbury.sa.gov.au)
  2. The Importance of Flexibility and Mobility (n,d,psu.edu)
  3. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core (2012,harvard.edu)