Want to try chair yoga? Here’s everything you’ll need

Yoga & Pilates

Chair yoga is a fun way to change up your fitness routine. This all-levels practice is not only simple, but designed for anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of yoga.

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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 in 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 non-slip 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 normally would. Next, let your hands rest on the tops of the thighs or your knees. To form the cat pose, simply round your spine backwards and tuck your chin. Exaggerate the movement and allow your head to be heavy as your shoulders slump forward. To make the cow pose, just 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?

Chair

Mission Back Folding Chair

You want to make sure that the chair you are using is comfortable and stable. The Mission Back Folding Chair from Bed Bath & Beyond is a great pick, because it features 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. 

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

INNOLIFE Yoga Auxiliary Chair with Lumbar Back Support

The INNOLIFE Yoga Auxiliary Chair with Lumbar Back Support sold by Amazon is also a good option. It offers a dirt-resistant cushion and non-skid feet and it also folds to save space.

Sold by Amazon

Yoga clothes

Having new workout gear can be a great motivator when you are just starting a brand new workout routine.

adidas

Why not invest in a comfy T-shirt from adidas? Their UNITEFIT was made to fit all genders, shapes and sizes. It’s comfortable, stretchy and breathable, making it the perfect piece for yoga and beyond. Plus, adidas is committed to supporting more sustainable cotton farming, so you can feel good about your purchase. 

Sold by Adidas

Colorfulkoala Women's High Waisted Yoga Pants

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.

Sold by Amazon

Props

Blocks make a good addition to any yoga practice, especially when it comes to the chair variety because they provide extra stability.

Gaiam non-slip foam blocks

Gaiam has a robust line of products that are geared for fitness, and their blocks top the list. One of their best products is this set of two Gaiam non-slip foam blocks

Sold by Amazon

Trideer Yoga Blocks

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. 

Sold by Amazon

 

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