Yoga is for everyone! I love discussing the practice of yoga with my friends, family, and acquaintances. I’ve met people who see yoga as a practice that only super bendy, athletic people can do. They think it’s unattainable and simply too difficult to attempt. But I’m here to tell you peeps that yoga is for everyone! It has become a popular practice and the results are amazing. Many different styles of yoga have been introduced by incredible yogis, giving people the opportunity to choose what best suits them.
I was introduced to chair yoga about 8 months ago when I became a part of the Christina Phipps Foundation. I was given the opportunity to learn ways of incorporating yoga poses and sequences in a chair for people who may have limited mobility or for those who wanted a different approach to learning yoga. I did additional research and began teaching a weekly chair yoga class to a group of amazing women. Chair yoga was implemented at the site I volunteered at as a way for people to practice yoga at a gentle pace. I received amazing feedback from my students and I was honored to share my practice with them. Teaching chair yoga also opened my mind and provided me with additional information to further my own yoga journey.
I created a short sequence and prepared pamphlets to pass out to my students. This provided them the opportunity to implement yoga in their daily lives instead of having to wait for our weekly class to practice. Below is the sequence I created for gentle chair yoga. Remember, always be cautious of how your body is feeling each day and only go far as you are able to that day. Each pose can be repeated as many times as you would like.
Cat / Cow
1) Cow: Inhale, begin to arch your back, drop the shoulders, and slowly gaze up.
2) Cat: Exhale, round the spine, let shoulders and head come forward.
1) Inhale, shrug shoulders up towards ears.
2) Exhale, shoulders come down. (Not pictured)
3) Inhale, extend both arms in front of you, move shoulders away from spine.
4) Exhale, lower arms, and place palms on to lap.
1) Lift arms to the sides, bend elbows 90 degrees, rotate palms to face your head. Take 3-5 breaths.
1) Inhale, raise arms into Cactus Pose.
2) Exhale, fold forward over legs. Rest your hands on the knees, shins, or feet.
1) Sit sideways on the chair facing right. Hold on to the back of the chair.
2) Inhale, lengthen your spine and neck. Feel yourself sitting tall.
3) Exhale, twist torso to the right holding on to the back of the chair. Alternate sides.
Knee to Chest & Leg Lift
1) Inhale, raise knee and clasp with both hands.
2) Exhale, squeeze knee towards chest. Lower leg.
3) Holding the sides of the chair, inhale lift leg; exhale, lower leg.
This is a short and fun sequence that can be done when you wake up, when you’re at work, or watching TV at home. If you are interested in learning more about chair yoga, search the web or ask your local yoga studio where classes may be offered.
This past weekend, I received further training in chair yoga as a part of my 300 hour yoga teacher training. I learned so much more about chair yoga, along with using a chair as a prop, and many poses that could be done in a chair that I had no idea about! It was a great weekend and I am thrilled that I can incorporate more chair yoga into my classes and daily practice.
Yoga is constantly evolving. People like to try new styles of yoga and build their practice to whatever suits them and makes them happy. I think chair yoga is a great way of beginning a yoga journey. Enjoy this mini sequence, and continue to grow in your practice. Whether you want to be a dedicated yogi or if you just want a bit of exercise, all it takes is action. We are forever students in this world. Peace!