Friday, April 17, 2009

Chair Yoga | Chair Exercises | Sitting Exercises

Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is the term used to describe yogic poses and exercises that are practiced with the aid of a chair. Most of the exercises require the person to be seated on a straight-backed chair. However, a few of the exercises require only the support of the chair. These exercises are especially beneficial for seniors, invalids and those lacking in normal muscular strength.

Unlike Iyengar, Ashtanga yoga and the other forms of yoga, Chair Yoga is not formally recognized. Most of the poses are Hatha yoga poses that have been adapted and modified. Some yoga poses require great flexibility and balance. However, the poses in Chair Yoga do not have any such requirement and are extremely easy to perform. Unlike the other forms of yoga which have deep spiritual connections, Chair yoga is simply an exercise routine.

Chair Yoga Poses

There are a few simple basic chair yoga poses. These include:
  • Shoulder Rotation: Lift your shoulders up so that they are nearly touching your ears. Slowly rotate them forwards until you make a full circle and com back to your starting position. Do this a few times and then reverse the direction and rotate your shoulders backwards.
  • Forward Bend: For this pose, the individual is required to sit on the chair with his/her legs spread wide. Breathe in and out deeply for a few counts and then on the exhale, fold your body forward in a fluid non-jerky movement. Your torso should be between your legs. Remain in this position for a t least four counts before returning to your original position. Take a few calming breaths and then repeat this exercise.
  • Elbow Rotation and Twist: Stretch your arms out straight so that they are parallel to the floor. Tuck your thumb inside your fist and rotate the entire elbow joint by pulling your arms in towards your chin and then out again. Do a few rotations before reversing the direction so that your arms are moving outwards instead. Repeat this a few times and then take a few deep relaxing breaths. Stretch your arms out once again but this time twist your wrists completely so that your palms are touching each other. Inhale deeply and interlock your fingers. Twist and rotate your arms so that your fingers nearly touch your chin. As you twist your arms slowly exhale. Repeat this a few times.
In addition to these exercises, there are several other poses like the neck bending, rotation and twisting exercises. There are also some exercises like Greeting the Heaven pose, Opening Heart pose and the Spine Twisting pose that may be a little tougher for some people to perform.