Do your days often feel like a race against time? The daily chaos of getting done with chores leaves little to no time for working out. However, it is extremely important to find moments of tranquility and self-care. Whether a yoga enthusiast or a complete beginner, chair yoga offers a rejuvenating path to improved flexibility, balance, and inner calm (1). That said, grab a seat and embark on a journey of serenity as we explore a collection of chair yoga sequences that will invigorate your body, uplift your spirit, and leave you feeling blissfully centered. Let’s discover the perfect balance between relaxation and revitalization, all from the comfort of your chair!
What Is Chair Yoga?
As the term suggests, chair yoga allows you to remain seated while performing yoga movements. It can be practiced by anyone who wants to reap the benefits of yoga or has some mobility issues.
Some people may face health challenges, recuperating from illness or surgery, or dealing with limited mobility and balance. Traditional yoga classes may not be the right fit for everyone. That’s where chair yoga comes in. It’s a gentle and accessible form of yoga that can be practiced while seated, making it ideal for those with diverse needs.
Regardless of your situation, chair yoga offers a safe and inclusive way to reap the benefits of yoga, tailored to your specific requirements. For instance, you can plan a chair yoga sequence for seniors or adults with desk jobs to ensure the workout caters to your fitness needs.
How To Sequence Chair Yoga Workout?
It would help to get a sturdy and stable seat before planning a chair yoga flow sequence. Look for a chair that allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your shins and thighs forming a right angle.
If your feet don’t reach the floor comfortably, you can place blocks or books under them for support. It is important to prioritize safety, so avoid using chairs with wheels unless you can lock them in place to prevent them from rolling during your practice.
Sequencing chair yoga requires selecting and organizing different poses to create a balanced practice. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create the best chair yoga flow sequence:
Start With A Warm-Up
Begin the session with gentle warm-up exercises to prepare the body for movement. This could include seated neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and wrist stretches to loosen up the joints.
Build Strength And Stability
Incorporate poses that target the major muscle groups and improve stability. Examples include seated squats, leg extensions, or push-ups using the chair for support.
Integrate stretches that focus on increasing flexibility. Include seated forward folds, seated twists, and gentle seated side stretches to improve the range of motion and release tension.
Work On Balance
Practice seated or standing balance poses using the chair as a support. These can include one-legged stands or tree pose variations, with one foot lifted and resting against the opposite leg.
Engage The Core
Include exercises that engage the core muscles to improve stability and support the spine. Seated spinal twists with core engagement or knee-to-chest exercises can be effective choices (2).
Read More: Can You Use Chair Yoga For Weight Loss?
Relaxation And Mindfulness
End the workout with calming and restorative poses to promote relaxation and mindfulness. Deep breathing exercises and guided meditation can be practiced while seated in the chair.
Chair yoga can be modified according to the physical needs of the participants. It would help if you focused on breathing, proper alignment, and listening to your body as you progress with the regime. You can also create a customized chair yoga sequence according to your preferences.
What Is The Best Chair Yoga Flow Sequence?
The best chair yoga sequence is designed according to the fitness of practitioners. If you are a beginner, the following yoga sequence is a good starting plan.
Check out the poses in this sequence:
To perform this movement:
- Sit on a chair while keeping your spine long and feet on the floor. Position your hands on your knees or above the thighs.
- Arch your spine as you inhale, and roll your shoulders down and back. Bring your shoulder blades onto your back. This is called the “cow position.”
- Breathe out and curve your spine, bringing your chin toward your chest. Let your shoulders and head come forward. This is called the cat position.
- Keep switching between the cow position as you breathe in and the cat position as you breathe out, doing this for five breaths.
You should consider including this in your chair yoga flow sequence if you are dealing with “tech neck (3).” It helps reverse the hunching posture that you may take while using a laptop or smartphone.
Here are the steps to perform this routine:
- Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms out to the sides, stretching them wide.
- Bend your elbows, making a right angle with your forearms pointing up. Turn your palms to face away from you.
- While keeping your arms in the same position, gently push them outward and away from your shoulders. Push your chest forward and squeeze your shoulder blades together. If it feels okay, tilt your head to level your chin with the ceiling.
- Take 2-3 slow, deep breaths. Then, bring your arms back down to your sides and return your chest to a relaxed position.
- Repeat these steps twice, raising your arms wide and following through with the movements.
Seated Spinal Twist
This movement can easily be a part of a beginner and a challenging chair yoga sequence. It is easy, versatile, and highly effective (4).
- Face towards the left as you sit sideways on your chair. Twist your torso towards the left side while holding the back of your chair.
- Try to stretch your spine as you inhale. Then, twist as you exhale for five breaths.
- Next, move your legs towards the right side, and repeat the same movements.
These and many other yoga movements could be included to curate the best chair yoga sequence. You may consider a chair yoga sequence to open hips or a sequence that helps ease lower back pain.
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How To Do Chair Pose Yoga Sequences?
A chair pose is a standing yoga position that helps tone the entire body (5). It involves sitting backward like you are about to fall into a chair. But you must hold yourself in this position so your muscles may gain strength and stabilize.
Here are the steps to follow when performing chair pose yoga:
- Stand with an upright posture, maintaining an elevated and straight position. Place your feet slightly wider than the width of your hips, and let your arms hang naturally at your sides.
- As you breathe in, raise your arms alongside your ears, extending them straight and parallel to each other. Ensure that your wrists and fingers are elongated. Maintain relaxed shoulders and a neutral spine throughout this movement.
- While exhaling, gently bend your knees, ensuring your thighs and knees remain parallel. As you do so, lean your torso forward, creating a right angle with the tops of your thighs. Keep your neck and head aligned with your torso and arms. Maintain this position for a duration of 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Chair pose yoga is usually a part of a regular yoga routine. However, you don’t need a chair to perform this movement. It can be modified according to the physical needs of the practitioner. For example, you can place a rolled-up mat under your heels if you have tight ankles.
Read More: Which Yoga Chair Pose To Use When: A Guide To Unlocking The Benefits Of Gentle Exercise
The Bottom Line
The accessibility of chair yoga makes it easier for many people. It comes with the perks of regular yoga, such as reduced stress, improved balance, and overall strength. If you are unsure about a suitable chair yoga sequence, consider consulting a certified yoga instructor to help you with a plan.
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!
- You’re Never Too Old for Yoga (2023, nytimes.com)
- 7 Best Chair Yoga Poses To Practice Anywhere (Benefits & Complete Guide (2023, myyogateacher.com)
- What Is Tech Neck? (n.d., johnmichelsmd.com)
- POSE OF THE WEEK: MATSYENDRASANA (SEATED SPINAL TWIST) (2014, wilmingtonyogacenter.com)
- Chair Pose: Taking This Seat Strengthens Your Whole Body (2022, artofliving.org)