An Easy 10-Minute Chair Yoga Practice

Chair yoga is a great and accessible way for all of us to incorporate yoga into our daily routine. Did you know that regularly practicing gentle movements of our body throughout the day can make more of an impact on our overall health and wellbeing than a rigorous hour-long workout once a week? Check out these tips and an easy, 10-minute chair yoga sequence below to learn how you can become a daily yogi.

Tips for Practicing Easy Yoga Movements Throughout Your Day:

1. Start small, then big 

Remember to always start with small movements and progress to larger ones. This will help keep your joints and muscles safe and will help you
listen to your body more.

2. Listen!

Our bodies are ALWAYS communicating to us; we just have to learn to listen! When practicing, if you feel pain, this is your body communicating something to you. Listen and back off the movement if you feel any pain.

3. Be gentle

See how you can take these movements as gently as possible for your body, taking the movement just until you feel some resistance, then backing off. We should never be pushing or forcing our bodies into poses or movements.

4. Breathe!

Breathing with your movement helps your body move safely and properly. See if you can find any places where you tend to hold your breath and remind yourself to breathe through these movements.

Easy Chair Yoga Movements to Practice:

1. Neck & Shoulders

So many of us hold so much tension and stress in our neck and shoulders! Here are some easy movements we can practice throughout the day that can help us find more release and ease in these areas.

Neck lateral rotations

  • Gently (starting small!), with your spine tall and long, rotate your head to the left, back to the center, then to the right
  • Breathe! Exhale right, inhale center, exhale left, inhale center
  • Continue 4-6 times

Neck extension & flexion

  • Gently (starting small!), with your spine tall and long, lift your chin to look up, then bring your chin down to your chest
  • Breathe! Inhale look up, exhale look down
  • Continue 4-6 times

Shoulder extension & flexion

  • Gently (starting small!), with your spine tall and long, sweep your arms out in front of you and then over your head, then sweep them back down in front of you and then to your sides and extend the arms behind you, past your hips only so far as is comfortable
  • Breathe! Inhale arms up, exhale arms down and behind
  • Continue 4-6 ties

2. Scapula (seated cat/cow)

  • Sitting in your chair, with your spine tall and long, hands on your knees, (starting small!) lift your head and arch your back, then tuck your chin to your chest, lean back and curve your back towards your chair
  • Breathe! Inhale left, exhale curl in
  • Continue 4-6 times

3. Knees & Hips

Knee Extensions 

  • Sitting on the edge of your chair, spine tall and long, place one foot firmly on the ground, lift the other leg straight out in front (or as straight as feels comfortable), then grab your knee, shin, or thigh, bend the leg and pull the knee in towards your chest
  • Breathe! Inhale leg out, exhale pull leg in
  • Continue 4-6 times each side

Hip Stretch

  • Sitting on the edge of your chair, spine tall and long, place one foot firmly on the ground, bend the other leg in a figure 4 position and place the ankle on the other leg, just above the knee (NOT on top
    of the knee)
  • Keeping the spine tall and long, gently hinging at the hips, bend over your legs just until you feel a gentle stretch in the hip
  • Breathe! Inhale, lift spine tall, exhale bend over the legs
  • Continue 3 times moving, then hold last bend over the legs for 4 breaths each side

You could complete this entire sequence in under 10 minutes and BOOM you have just added some yoga to your day! Where can you fit in 10 minutes of your day to bring your body some gentle movement with yoga?

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