Thursday, February 7, 2013

Chair Yoga for All

A little yoga in a chair reaps benefits for just about everyone. From increased feelings of relaxation and mental focus to improved circulation and energy levels, taking a little time to practice yoga will GIVE you time. Try one or all of these at your desk, dining room table or in any other chair.
  • Sit with good posture. From a Seated Pose, sitting close to the edge of the chair with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. The ankles below the knees and the feet hip width apart. Lay your hands on your thighs or knees. Roll your shoulders back and blades down resting them on your back. Lengthen your spine by lifting your torso towards the sky beginning with the crown of the head. 
  • Feel your breath. With mouth closed, inhale through your nose allowing your belly to expand and chest to lift. Allow the air to fill your lungs. When your lungs are full, exhale through your nose allowing your chest to lower and belly to contract. Do not strain to hold or release the breath. Invite your breath to be smooth and even - inhale matching the length to your exhale.
  • Move your spine through seated Cat Cow. Lay your hands on your thighs, palms down. As you exhale, round your spine pulling your belly button toward the wall behind you. Release your head forward, but not forcing your chin to your chest. As you inhale, lift your chest toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to push forward and look up. Repeat. 
  • Seated Forward Fold.  Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Your hands will rest on your thighs as you extend your torso over your legs. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. As you bend, continue to reach your sternum out past your knees.
  • Move your arms. Inhale inviting your engaged arms to lift out at your sides and up towards the sky with your palms facing up. Your gaze follows. On the exhale, lowering your arms and gaze to the earth.
  • Bend to the side. Rest your left hand on the seat of the chair. Inhale raise your right arm toward the sky. Reach your entire side body up. Exhale to bend to your left. Stay as long as you would like with a free flowing breath. Repeat on the other side.
May you find peace in your body.