Blog Mental Health Yoga Chair Yoga Table Pose Chair Yoga: Simple Exercise, Powerful Benefits

Table Pose Chair Yoga: Simple Exercise, Powerful Benefits

Spending hours a day working at a desk job or even just daily a long commute can add up to a lot of time sitting down. Now we’ve all heard the buzz about how staying glued to our chairs isn’t exactly great for us. But let’s face it, not everyone has the luxury of extra time to get up and move around for the sake of exercise throughout the day.

What if I let you in on a little secret to sneak in some movement while you’re seated? Enter chair yoga – the new kid on the fitness block that’s making waves with its clever and effective moves, all with minimal space and equipment needed. 

Chair yoga is perfect for busy people and is a game-changer for activating sedentary muscles to shake off stiffness. Originally a boon for those with mobility issues, it’s now a hit with anyone looking to improve their postural awareness, soothe nagging pains, and give their muscles a nice stretch (3).

There are many chair yoga exercises that you can include in a sequence. However, table pose chair yoga has gained more attention than usual for its unique approach and multiple perks. This article sheds light on how to perform table pose chair yoga variations and how chair yoga can help your health.

Keep scrolling to discover more!         

What are Chair Yoga Poses?

As the name suggests, chair yoga is a branch of traditional yoga that uses a chair. Chair yoga was created in 1982 by a yoga teacher, Lakshmi Voelker-Binder, for a student with arthritis who found it hard to do regular yoga. Chair yoga has all the components of normal yoga, like poses, breathing exercises, and meditation, but the poses are changed so that you can do them while sitting or standing, with the help of a chair.

See also
Chair Yoga for Men: 6 Exercises for Active Recovery Days

What is the Table Pose in Yoga Called?

Table pose in yoga is called Bharmanasana. The table pose performed on a chair can strengthen your wrists, arms, and core. It can also stretch your back and shoulders, making it a comprehensive exercise. The steps to perform the table pose in traditional yoga are as follows:

  1. Get on your hands and knees.
  2. Place your hands shoulder-width apart, making sure your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are straight.
  3. Keep your wrist creases parallel to the front edge of the mat.
  4. Position your hips directly over your knees, with your knees hip-width apart.
  5. Point your toes straight back.
  6. Keep your hips and shoulders level, and make both sides of your waist long.
  7. Press through your fingertips and spread your weight evenly between both hands.
  8. Push the floor away to engage your abs, extend your chest forward, and broaden your shoulders.
  9. Lengthen the top of your head forward, keeping your neck long and looking at the floor.
  10. Hold this position for 5-10 breaths.

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The following are some table pose chair yoga variations that you can add to your workout routine:

See also
10 Chair Workout Exercises for a Full Body Workout

Seated Table Pose

In this version, you must sit at the edge of a chair while keeping your feet flat. The steps to make the pose are as follows:

  1. Sit up tall with your legs comfortably apart.
  2. Rest your hands on your legs.
  3. Breathe in deep, making yourself taller.
  4. Breathe out, bending forward from your hips while keeping your back straight. Try to make your chest parallel to the floor.
  5. Hold this for a few breaths, then use an inhale to sit back up.

Chair Table Pose with Arm Extension

As the name suggests, this variation adds an arm extension to the original seated table pose. Here is how you can perform this pose:

  1. Sit near the front of your chair, with your feet on the floor and knees bent.
  2. Put your hands on your legs.
  3. Breathe in and straighten your back.
  4. Breathe out, leaning forward from your hips until your chest is almost parallel to the floor.
  5. As you breathe in again, reach one arm straight out in front of you, using your other hand to keep you steady.
  6. Hold for a few breaths, then switch arms and repeat.

Chair Table Pose with Leg Lift

The previous pose added an arm lift, while this one adds a leg lift to the seated table pose. You can make this pose by following these steps:

  1. Sit towards the front of your chair, feet flat, knees bent.
  2. Rest your hands on your legs.
  3. Breathe in and straighten your back.
  4. Breathe out, bending forward until your chest is almost parallel to the floor.
  5. As you breathe in again, lift one foot, keeping your knee bent.
  6. Hold a few breaths, lower your foot, and do the same with the other leg.
See also
Chair Yoga Workout Plan for Harmonious Mind and Body

Standing Behind the Chair Table Pose

This version of the table pose uses the chair for support while standing. This factor makes it accessible for those who may not feel comfortable sitting for long periods. The steps to perform this pose are as follows:

  1. Stand behind the chair, hands on the top for support.
  2. Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart.
  3. Breathe in, making yourself taller.
  4. Breathe out and bend forward from your hips, keeping your back straight. Try to make your body flat like a tabletop.
  5. Use the chair to keep your balance, your arms straight down as you hold it.
  6. Hold a few breaths, then stand back up as you breathe in.

Various chair yoga poses allow individuals to adapt the table pose to their needs. You can perform the chair yoga table pose for beginners or those curated especially for seniors. This aspect makes chair yoga poses a favorite in fitness circles and is highly recommended.

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

Does the Chair Yoga Plan Really Work?

Yes, a chair yoga plan can bring incredible rewards for those who perform it correctly and consistently. Particularly, the yoga chair exercises for seniors can be effective for adults with mobility issues. It keeps them active and makes them feel more independent. Here are some benefits of chair yoga that might convince you of its effectiveness:

See also
Armchair Yoga: A Safe and Effective Way to Stay Active

It Can Improve Strength

Chair yoga can improve strength in a variety of muscle groups (5). More strength may lead to better balance, which reduces the risk of falls. It can also enhance your body’s ability to tolerate pain and recovery from injuries. A study found that a small group of older women who did chair yoga for 12 weeks got stronger in their hands, arms, and legs (3).

table pose chair yoga  

It Can Increase Your Flexibility

Your ability to bend, twist, and stretch defines how flexible you are. Flexibility is an important component of broader mobility. It is a myth that everyone must get stiffer and less flexible as we age. With proper programming, chair yoga can be an important assistant in helping you maintain and improve your flexibility (4). A 2010 study showed that seniors who did chair yoga twice a week for 12 weeks could bend and move their legs better and were steadier while standing still (2).

It Helps to Deal with Stress

Mindfulness is an indispensable part of yoga. Yoga exercises focus on breathing, movements, and how the body reacts. They create a moving meditation that promotes relaxation and helps to get better mental clarity (6).

A study showed that seniors who did chair yoga once a week for 3 months felt less stressed, happier, and had fewer panic attacks (1). They also felt healthier and more connected to others, and found it easier to do everyday activities.

Chair yoga has proven its effectiveness, and numerous studies have made it evident that this could be a useful addition to the workout routines of beginners and older adults. Apart from the table pose, you can find many exercises to help you achieve your fitness goals. 

See also
Chair Yoga For Hips Relaxation

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What is the Benefit of Table Pose?

Like other chair yoga moves, the table pose has some unique benefits. A few of these are:

Stretches Your Muscles

The subtle stretch of the table pose can help your body feel more stable and flexible.

Good for the Spine and Back

Practicing tabletop yoga poses can benefit those with frequent back aches. The poses involved in tabletop focus on stabilizing the spine in neutral alignment, which also may enhance postural awareness.

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

table pose chair yoga  

FAQs

  • What is a sitting pose in yoga?

Sitting poses in yoga are the positions that are performed when seated. You can sit on the floor or use a chair. Many non-seated poses can also be modified to become seated poses. Consult a certified yoga instructor for adaptations that will be best for you.

  • What is the most difficult yoga pose?

Whether you feel a pose is easy or difficult depends on your fitness level and capabilities. In general, the crow, handstand, scorpion, eight-angle, and king pigeon pose are considered some of the toughest.

  • How to do the tabletop pose?

Start on your hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, and knees under hips. Keep your back flat and your neck long, looking down. Press into the floor with your hands and toes, engaging your core muscles. Hold this position while maintaining slow, steady breathing.

  • Can I do chair yoga every day?

Yes, it is safe to do chair yoga daily. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with 3 times weekly and then gradually expand it to every day. It can bring benefits like better sleep and improved flexibility.

  • Is chair yoga safe?

Due to the gentle movements and accessibility, chair yoga is considered safer than many other forms of exercise.

  • Can you get in shape with chair yoga?

Yes, chair yoga, and any other form of exercise, can help you get in shape assuming you have a program that properly challenges you to get better. 

The Bottom Line

There are no official guidelines on who should perform chair yoga and who shouldn’t. Generally, the exercises in this category are gentle and accessible for all. If you are prone to injuries, have mobility issues, or are a beginner in the fitness world, you should consider adding chair yoga exercises to your workout regime. So far, we have learned that chair yoga can bring substantial rewards, but you should make sure that you follow proper pacing and sequencing guidelines for any pose or movement. Incorporating it into your regular routine may make you feel more optimistic. And who knows, you may progress to more advanced moves as you gain experience!

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. Adapted yoga to improve physical function and health-related quality of life in physically-inactive older adults: a randomised controlled pilot trial (2017, biomedcentral.com)
  2. Effect of a 12-Week Yoga Intervention on Fear of Falling and Balance in Older Adults: A Pilot Study (2009, archives-pmr.org)
  3. 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, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4. Effects of a chair-yoga exercises on stress hormone levels, daily life activities, falls and physical fitness in institutionalized older adults (2016, researchgate.net)
  5. The Effectiveness of Chair Yoga in Older Adults: A Literature Review (2023, researchgate.net)
  6. Yoga for better mental health (2024, health.harvard.edu)