What you’ll need for chair yoga
The practice of yoga has grown in popularity, and it has expanded into different styles, making it accessible for everybody. With a focus on connecting the mind and body, it’s no surprise that so many people are drawn to the practice.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere, even from the comfort of your own chair. Chair yoga is easy to practice with a few items. Here’s what you need to know before you start chair yoga.
What to consider before doing chair yoga
What is chair yoga?
Chair yoga is similar to a regular yoga class, but it is done with a chair. This makes yoga more accessible for those with physical limitations or those who want to practice yoga as they work. Most chair yoga will still involve breathwork, spatial awareness, flexibility growth and strength training.
Who should practice chair yoga?
Although anyone can benefit from chair yoga, it is great for beginners or people who may have moving limitations. For those who are unsteady on their feet, this practice can be a great alternative to taking a class at a studio or gym.
What are the benefits of chair yoga?
Chair yoga offers a number of physical benefits, but it can also help to alleviate stress. It also is a great way to take a break during the day. Incorporate some simple stretching and twisting to mitigate the impacts of sitting in a chair all day and get your blood moving.
Prep for chair yoga
Here are some things to consider before you begin your workout.
- Location: Choose a location that you are comfortable with. Whether it’s at your office or at home, you’ll want to choose an area where you can have some peace and quiet. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the chair is placed on a nonslip surface.
- Space: Choose a space that is free of clutter. If you are incorporating moves where you come off of the chair, you’ll want to have a clear space to avoid any tripping or stumbling.
- Time needed: You could take a quick chair yoga break and spend as little as five minutes on neck stretches and twists. If you would like a longer practice, setting aside 20 minutes will allow you to achieve more of a full-body stretch.
How to do chair yoga?
Whether you want to stay in the chair or use it for balance postures, there are a variety of poses that can easily translate to this method of exercise.
- Cat-cow: Sit in the chair like you usually would. Next, let your hands rest on the tops of the thighs or your knees. To form the cat pose, simply round your spine backward and tuck your chin. Exaggerate the movement and allow your head to be heavy as your shoulders slump forward. To make the cow pose, completely reverse the movement, pushing your chest out and chin slightly up. Take it slow and repeat 10 times as you link breath to movement.
- Pigeon: Start by checking your posture to make sure that you’re sitting up straight. Then, you will take your left ankle to rest on top of the right thigh, creating a number four shape. This may be enough, but if you want more of a stretch, lean forward. Hold for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side. Make the breathwork slow and mindful, but come out of the pose early if you are experiencing any pain.
- Twist: Take a sideways position on the chair, facing to the right. As you turn your torso to the right, hold on to the back of the chair, creating a nice, gentle twist. Take five breaths, and with each breath, imagine lengthening the spine. Repeat on the other side, for a total of three times each.
- Tree: This one involves standing, so make sure that you are practicing with a sturdy chair. Position yourself by the back of the chair and stand to the left. Then, you’ll use the chair as a prop by placing your left hand on the back of it. To complete the post, you’ll place your right foot anywhere above or below the knee on your standing leg, creating a shape that resembles the number four. Hold for 10 breaths and switch sides.
What will you need for chair yoga?
You want to make sure that the chair you are using is comfortable and stable. These Mission Back Folding Chairs are a great pick because they feature front and rear supports for extra stability. This classy chair is also great for when you have an extra guest over, and since it can fold up, it’s also easy to store.
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The INNOLIFE Yoga Auxiliary Chair with Lumbar Back Support is also a good option. It offers a dirt-resistant cushion and nonskid feet and also folds to save space.
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Having new workout gear can be a great motivator when you are just starting a brand-new workout routine.
Why not invest in a comfy tank top? The Adidas Men’s Yoga Training Tank Top is comfortable, stretchy and breathable, making it the perfect piece for yoga. Plus, Adidas is committed to supporting more sustainable cotton farming, so you can feel good about your purchase. If you’re looking for a more feminine tank top, the Adidas Women’s Yoga Studio Wrapped Rib Tank Top is also an excellent choice.
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The Colorfulkoala Women’s High Waisted Yoga Pants sold by Amazon are a top choice to pair with your comfy tee. Made from 75% polyester and 25% Spandex, they come in a wide variety of colors and feature side pockets. Reviewers mention their super-softness.
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Blocks make a good addition to any yoga practice, especially when it comes to the chair variety because they provide extra stability.
Gaiam has a robust line of products that are geared toward fitness, and their blocks top the list. One of their best products is this set of two Gaiam nonslip foam blocks.
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These Trideer Yoga Blocks sold on Amazon are another good option. Made from high-density EVA foam, they are soft but sturdy and are also lightweight.
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