Get Healthy with Chair Yoga

A sedentary lifestyle has almost become synonymous with the busy work schedule that a majority of us have. With increasingly less time to spend on ourselves to meet professional goals, our health is one of the things that suffer the most. While it is easy to talk about how a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us in the long term, most of us have no idea how to move away from it, especially since our busy schedules only become more dynamic.

The solution lies in making the most of the little time you have in between working. While it may be impossible to include entire hour-long workout sessions, you can easily indulge in some easy chair yoga workouts! Since today’s youth is always working on their laptops while sitting in chairs, yo0u can use it as a tool to keep you fit as well.

What is chair yoga?

As the name suggests, this form of yoga involves doing variations of common yoga poses using your chair. You can either sit on your chair while doing these poses or use it as a tool to get more significant benefits. This gentle yoga for beginners allows you to utilize your breaks between work to stretch all the necessary muscles.

What are the benefits of chair yoga?

Some of you may assume the benefits to only comprise physical wellness. However, while that is a great benefit, there are many more reasons why indulging in chair yoga should become a part of your regular schedule:

  • Increased productivity: Small bouts of exercise helps you unwind and allows your muscles to relax. This can help in making you more productive and energetic as you deal with your daily tasks.
  • Greater mental awareness: Sessions of yoga in between work can help you stay more alert as well. This will ultimately help you maintain quality in your tasks and leave you much more satisfied at the end of the day.
  • Overall improved lifestyle: The continual habit of chair yoga every day can help in bringing drastic changes to your lifestyle. This can include better mental health, improved sleeping patterns, weight loss, and overall better health. However, this can be achieved only if the practice is done constantly every day.

How to do chair yoga?

Chair yoga involves slight modifications to typical yoga poses, allowing you to do it while sitting in your chair itself. So, regardless of whether you work from home or in the office, you can easily do these yoga poses from your chair and get better health over time! Depending on your break time, stamina, or the level of intensity you want, you can keep these yoga sessions from 5 minutes to 30 minutes as you want.

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing is an integral step that not only acts as a significant first step to your yoga session but is also often used to calm one down. So, after a stressful few hours at work, start with deep breaths to calm yourself down and get ready for the rest of the yoga poses. For deep breathing:

Woman taking a deep breath
“Take a deep breath. Inhale peace. Exhale happiness.” – A. D. Posey
  • Sit upright in your chair.
  • Put your palms on your thigh facing up.
  • Please take a deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds. You can start with five seconds but increase it to 30 seconds as you go.
  • Exhale and hold for a few seconds. In this case, too, you can start with five seconds but increase it to 30 seconds as you go.
  • Repeat till you feel calm.

Neck Rotations

Neck rolls are one of the most basic yoga poses. Despite being basic, these will help reduce stress from your neck and shoulders, a common side effect of sitting at your desk for hours at a stretch.

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  • Put your feet on the ground.
  • Look down, letting your chin almost touch your chest.
  • Slowly, start rotating your head in the clockwise direction, letting all your tense muscles loosen up as you go.
  • Repeat five times.
  • Now, slowly start rotating your head in the anti-clockwise direction.
  • Repeat five times.
  • If time permits, then you can repeat it a few more times in each direction.

Cat-Cow Position

This pose is excellent for strengthening your spine and allowing your back to stretch. You can typically sit with your back touching the chair’s back, or you can sit sideways in the chair for greater freedom in movement.

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  • Start from the same position as the previous pose with your hands on your knees.
  • Slowly inhale and as you inhale, arch your back as much as possible and look towards the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 2 seconds and slowly exhale, rounding your spine and letting your head drop to your chest as you do so.
  • Repeat four more times.

Cross Arm Seated Side Bend

Side bends are excellent to help you increase your flexibility and lets your side muscles stretch. While leg side bends are highly effective, seated side bends are equally effective. These deviate slightly from traditional seated side bends, with the only exception being you are sitting on a chair and your hands cross over to hold onto the chair seat on the other side.

  • Sit with your hands on your knee.
  • Slowly reach over with your right hand and grab onto the edge of the seat close to your left thigh.
  • Raise your left arm high up and move it to a side bend, going as far as you comfortably can, inhaling as you do.
  • Exhale slowly while you return to an upright position and bring both hands on your knows.
  • Repeat this with your right hand and your left side, gripping the seat on the other side.
  • Repeat four more times.

Seated side twists

Seated side twists are another great way of staying established as you work your muscles and make them loosen up.

Referred from Yoga Journal
  • Sit sideways on the chair, with your hands to your knees.
  • Gradually inhale and turn towards the backrest of the chair, grabbing onto the backrest for support.
  • Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds, holding your breath.
  • Return to your original position gradually while exhaling, finishing by bringing your hands to your knees.
  • Repeat four more times.
  • Repeat the same while sitting on the other side of the chair, twisting your other side of the body similarly.

In Conclusion!

This forms the basic set of chair yoga exercises that you can quickly complete within 15 minutes at your pace. With the many benefits of these easy yoga poses, you no longer have an excuse not to work out even during your busy schedule. So, incorporate these in your daily life and see your quality of life improve gradually!

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