Chair yoga is a gentle type of yoga that is slowly gaining popularity among a variety of demographics worldwide. Unlike the standard yoga that many of us are used to, chair yoga is a modified version, making it easier for seniors, people with disabilities and beginners as well, who are not so flexible but still want to get the benefits of yoga. While chair yoga can be done on any kind of chair, some people prefer to have specialized chairs for this exercise. The yoga lounge chair is one type that you can purchase and have in your home/office. Here is all you need to know about chair yoga, the benefits of it, as well as some yoga lounge chair positions that you could do with this seat.
What Is Chair Yoga?
As the name suggests, this is a modified form of yoga where you do poses/asanas using a chair. Most poses are done in a seated position while others involve standing and holding on to the seat or back of your chosen chair for support.
This form of yoga is also referred to as gentle or accessible yoga as it’s much easier on the joints and it also allows those who cannot do traditional yoga to participate in this ancient tradition and exercise.
What Are Some Lounge Chair Yoga Benefits?
- Increase your flexibility
- Tone and strengthen your muscles
- Improve cardiovascular health which is very good for your heart health
- Weight loss
- Increase balance and flexibility
- Improve self image and confidence
- Relieve stress and anxiety
- Relieve pain especially in the lower back. Chair yoga is also good for people going through physical therapy for injuries
- Improve your mood
What Are Yoga Lounge Chair Positions?
Yoga lounge chair positions are simply normal chair yoga positions. The chair does not come with new special positions. Any pose that is done on a normal chair can be done on the lounge chair.
How To Use Lounge Chair For Yoga
If you are curious about how to do yoga on a lounge chair, here are some asanas that you can do:
Chair Yoga Resting Positions
Resting yoga positions are said to help people feel more relaxed, allowing them to let go of any stress and tension that they may have. Most of these positions are usually done at the end of the class while seated or lying on the ground – either on your back or stomach – but because the lounge looks like a couch, you can simply do them anytime on the yoga lounge chair.
Some positions to try include:
- Child’s pose – This pose is very calming and is great if you are looking to feel more grounded
- Corpse pose – The same as simply lying down on your bed, it great for anyone looking to release any stress or tension, especially in the lower back
- Easy Pose – Sitting cross-legged is the mark of yoga. This pose is great for meditation.
- Fish pose – aka Matsyasana helps open up the upper body which helps with relaxation and releasing tension.
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Chair Yoga Positions For Low Back Pain
According to statistics provided by an article published in the National Institutes of Health, back pain is one of the most common causes for patients to seek medical care in both primary care and emergency settings. 23 percent of the world’s adults suffer from chronic low back pain with a recurrence rate of 80 percent and a lifetime prevalence of up to 84 percent in the adult population (1).
If you among the unfortunate people who deal with lower back pain, some seated poses that can help you deal with this include:
- Cat-Cow stretch
- Cobra pose
- Seated twist pose
- Seated sun salutations
- Chair mountain pose
All these poses target lower back stretching which helps relieve and tension that is currently causing you pain or discomfort.
Difficult Chair Yoga Positions
Chair yoga is usually done by those who want a more gentle and accessible form of yoga – a version that doesn’t harm any already painful joints or demand too much initial flexibility and balance – making most poses pretty easy.
However, if you would like to challenge yourself with this exercise, some difficult poses you could try include:
- Reverse chair plank – To make these even more challenging, add some resistance training by combining this pose with chair dips.
- Seated figure four – Do not attempt this is you are currently dealing with knee pain
- Boat pose – This pose requires a lot of balance and core strength.
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How Many Yoga Styles Are There?
This depends on who you ask. Some people claim that there are only 4 styles of yoga, others say 11 while others say that there are up to 30 styles of yoga. No matter how many styles of yoga you believe exist, they all come from 6 main branches.
- Hatha yoga – This branch is often listed among styles of yoga so it can be referred to as both a style and a branch. Hatha yoga mostly concentrates on the physical and mental aspects of this practice and thus is said to prime the body and mind.
- Tantra Yoga – In the West, it’s known as tantric yoga and is usually connected to sex. Traditionally, however, tantra yoga was used for specific rituals and ceremonies. It’s said that it helps promote mindful, purposeful and meaningful sex.
- Raja Yoga – This branch concentrates on meditation and seeks to ‘control’ thoughts and intellect through contemplation and meditation.
- Jnana Yoga – It’s based on wisdom and knowledge. This branch is said to be the hardest and was mostly taken by priests and scholars. Jnana yogis seek to realize the truth of ‘oneself’.
- Bhakti Yoga – This branch is based on devotion, heart and love towards a chosen deity. Those who follow this branch are said to cultivate acceptance and tolerance.
- Karma Yoga – Unlike what the name suggests, this branch is not based on revenge. Instead, it’s based on the ‘religion of love’. Those who practice yoga through this branch seek to create a ‘future free from negativity and selfishness’. Practitioners seek to build a unified and enlightened world where people are more mindful and aware of each thought, word and deed.
The Bottom Line
Yoga lounge positions are a great way to relax and destress at the comfort of your home. Please note that you do need this special yoga lounge chair to do seated yoga. If you already have a lounge seat/sofa go ahead and try the above positions on it. If you do not have one, all you need is a sturdy chair and you can do almost all seated yoga positions.
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!
- Back Pain (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How does yoga work? (2023, medicalnewstoday.com)
- The 6 branches of yoga (n.d., ekhartyoga.com)
- Yoga: What You Need To Know (2021, nccih.nih.gov)