Let’s face it— we all have days when we can barely get out of our work chairs, let alone make the commute to the gym for a workout. The good news is that you don’t actually have to leave your desk to find relief from stress!
Take a few minutes out of your day to try these simple chair yoga poses. You don’t need any special equipment. A comfortable place to sit with your spine straight and feet flat on the ground is all you need!
We should mention that chair yoga is not only good for the busy, 9-5 crowd. It’s also a great way for beginners to ease into the world of yoga or for people with limited mobility to enjoy the benefits of the practice.
Most Common Chair Yoga Poses
Pose 1: Ujjayi Breathing
This pose is all about posture and alignment. It emphasizes deep breaths and helps open up the chest and lungs.
- Sit up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
- Rest your hands gently on your thighs or knees, and take a few deep breaths.
This is a great pose to do first thing in the morning or whenever you need a quick break during the day.
Pose 2: Seated Forward Bend
This pose is ideal for releasing tension in the back and shoulders.
- Start by sitting up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Exhale while slowly leaning forward from your waist, keeping your spine straight.
- Let your head hang heavy. Rest your hands on the floor, if they reach it.
- To release the pose, slowly roll back up to a seated position and inhale deeply.
Pose 3: Seated Cat/Cow
This pose is a great way to get the spine moving and release any tension that has built up in the lower back.
- Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your knees.
- As you inhale, arch your back and look up toward the ceiling.
- As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin toward your chest. Pull in your abdominals and imagine you’re drawing your belly button back toward your spine.
- Repeat this sequence a few times, moving slowly and with control.
Pose 4: Seated Hip Circles
Tightness in the hips is a common issue, especially if you spend most of your day sitting. This chair yoga pose will help to loosen up the hips and release any tension in the lower back.
- Start by sitting up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your knees.
- Without moving your upper body, begin to circle your hips in a clockwise direction.
- After a few rotations, reverse the direction and circle your hips counter-clockwise.
Read More: 5 Chair Yoga Poses For Strength And Flexibility
Pose 5: Assisted Neck Stretches
If you’re looking for a way to release the tension in your neck and shoulders, this is the pose for you.
- Sit up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your shoulders relaxed.
- Bring your right hand up to over your head and reach for your left ear.
- Let your head fall to your right side as you apply gentle pressure with your hand.
- Hold the stretch for a few deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.
Pose 6: Seated Twists
Twisting poses are great for detoxifying the body and promoting digestion. They’re also a good way to release tension in the spine.
- Start by sitting up tall in your chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your right hand on the back of the chair and your left hand on your right knee.
- As you inhale, lengthen your spine and look over your right shoulder.
- Use the grip on the chair to help you stay in the twist, but don’t pull yourself too hard.
- Breathe deeply and hold the pose for a few seconds before releasing and repeating it on the other side.
BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!
What Is Chair Yoga Good For?
There are several benefits of chair yoga:
People with balance issues such as vertigo or those who are pregnant can find traditional yoga poses difficult. Chair yoga is a great way to still enjoy the benefits of yoga without the fear of falling (3).
Chair yoga helps build strength in the muscles, especially in the upper body. Many of the poses target the arms, shoulders, and back, which can help improve posture (1).
Although it might not seem like it at first, chair yoga can help increase flexibility. The poses can help lengthen the muscles and loosen up the joints (2).
Just like regular yoga, chair yoga can help relieve stress and promote relaxation. Deep breathing and gentle movements can help calm the mind and ease anxiety (2).
Reduces Joint And Back Pain
Chair yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the joints and spine. This can help reduce pain and improve mobility (1).
Makes Yoga More Accessible
People with limited mobility or those who are new to yoga can find that chair yoga is a more comfortable and accessible option. It’s also a great way to try yoga before moving on to a traditional class.
Is Chair Yoga Good For Weight Loss?
Chair yoga can help to promote weight loss in a few different ways. The poses help tone the muscles, which can boost metabolism and lead to more calorie burning. Chair yoga can also help reduce stress, which can lead to unhealthy eating habits (2).
With that in mind, chair yoga alone is not likely to cause significant weight loss. For best results, combine chair yoga with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Read More: Office Yoga: An Effortless Way To Work On Flexibility Throughout The Day
When Is The Best Time To Do Chair Yoga?
The best time to do chair yoga is whenever you have a few minutes to spare. The poses can be done in a short amount of time, making it a great way to break up the day. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, try doing chair yoga before bedtime.
How Often Should You Do Chair Yoga?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You can do chair yoga as often as you like because it’s not a strenuous form of exercise. If you’re using chair yoga as a way to relax, doing it once or twice a day should be sufficient.
When Should You Not Do Chair Yoga?
There are some instances when chair yoga might not be the best option. If you have an injury or chronic pain, it’s important to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Chair yoga can also be difficult for people who are pregnant or have balance issues.
If you have any concerns, it’s always best to speak with a certified yoga instructor before trying chair yoga.
Betterme will keep you laser-focused on your weight loss journey! Nutrient-packed meal plans, fat-blasting workouts, galvanizing challenges and much more. Try using the app and see for yourself!
The Bottom Line
The right chair yoga poses can make a world of difference when it comes to stress relief. By improving muscle strength and flexibility, chair yoga can also help reduce pain and improve mobility.
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!
- A Pilot Study of the Effects of Chair Yoga and Chair-Based Exercise on Biopsychosocial Outcomes in Older Adults With Lower Extremity Osteoarthritis (2019, nih.gov)
- Chair Yoga and Why Seated Yoga Poses Are Good For You (2021, lifespan.org)
- Effectiveness of Chair Yoga for Improving the Functional Fitness and Well-being of Female Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Low Physical Activities (2019, researchgate.net)