Easy Zero Gravity Chair Yoga Exercises At Home
Whether you practice an active lifestyle or are looking into adopting one to better your health and wellness, you’re likely familiar with yoga on some level. More than just an exercise, yoga is a mind and body practice focusing on physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation.
While traditional yoga routines are practiced on a mat, some may prefer alternatives to meet their mobility needs, physical capabilities, or circumstances. Chair yoga modifies traditional poses and introduces plenty more to help those who may have mobility limitations, be recovering from sports injuries, or simply not have the space for practicing mat yoga in their home. Today, we’re looking at easy zero gravity chair yoga exercises at home that you can do to improve your overall health and take care of your mind and body together!
What Is a Chair Yoga Routine?
Chair yoga is a term that references modified yoga poses that can be done while seated in a chair. This makes low-impact chair yoga exercises easily accessible for people who may have mobility or are looking for an alternative to traditional yoga to meet their needs wherever they are.
For example, older adults or people recovering from injuries may find chair yoga exercises ideal to increase mobility and flexibility. Office workers may benefit from integrating a chair yoga routine into their daily workday as types of exercises to do at work for staying loose.
Choosing the Best Seat for Chair Yoga
Regardless of the modifications, chair yoga benefits are still plentiful. One of the most important ways to reap those benefits, however, is to ensure you’ve got a good chair to use. You don’t need to run out and buy a specially-designed yoga chair, however. Just make sure that whichever types of chairs you’re using are stable and provide good support.
One of the best types of chairs you can combine with chair yoga exercises is a luxury zero gravity chair. Support provided by a zero gravity chair can help you maintain and improve posture during your chair yoga exercises as well as provide the perfect post workout recovery routine. The design of the zero gravity position helps improve circulation, manage stress levels, alleviate back pain, and more. Bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners also work to enhance how the body heals itself, expanding on chair yoga benefits.
Zero gravity chairs with massage features, for example, aid chair yoga poses in keeping your body loose and limber. This is ideal for improving mobility and flexibility and is one of the most coveted zero gravity healing benefits for athletes. Using a zero gravity chair with heat therapy functions in conjunction with a chair yoga routine may ease pain from muscle tension, pinched nerves, and inflammation.
Easy Chair Yoga Exercises
Some of the most effective chair yoga exercises also happen to be the simplest. Practicing a chair yoga routine doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself, but it’s more about using low-impact exercise to bolster both your mental and physical health. After choosing the right chair to use, some of our favorite poses providing chair yoga benefits are:
- Chair cat-cow stretch
- Chair pigeon
- Seated twist
- Seated chest opener
- Seated forward fold
- Chair extended side angle
Chair Cat-Cow Stretch
Starting off our list of easy zero gravity chair yoga exercises at home is the chair cat-cow stretch. These chair yoga exercises are actually a combination of two different positions that give the stretch its namesake. The chair cat-cow stretch follows these simple steps:
- Sit in your chair with your spine upright and aligned as well as both feet on the floor.
- Place your hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs.
- As you breathe in, arch your spine and roll your shoulders down and back, bringing your shoulder blades onto your back (this is the cow position).
- Breathing out slowly, round your spine and drop your chin to your chest, allowing your shoulders and head to come forward (this is the cat position).
Continue to switch between these two poses for a series of five times each for maximum chair yoga benefits.
Chair Pigeon Pose
The chair position pose is one of the simplest chair yoga exercises you can do at home, in the office, or anywhere you’re comfortably seated. It is great for opening your hip and increasing your flexibility. The simple steps of chair pigeon pose are:
- Sit straight up with your spine aligned.
- Place your right ankle on top of your left knee, keeping your right knee relaxed and your foot flexed.
- As you breathe in, sit up nice and tall.
- As you breathe out, enjoy the stretch!
- To enhance these chair yoga exercises, place your right hand on the right knee and apply gentle pressure.
- Hold this pose for three to five deep breaths, then switch sides.
If you want to push yourself even further to boost your chair yoga benefits, try keeping your back flat then start to tip forward from the hips as you breathe out. Remember to be mindful of any physical limitations you may have, however, so you don’t injure yourself.
Seated twist chair yoga exercises are simple, yet effective ways to loosen your spine and gently stretch the muscles in your back. Aside from maintaining a healthy spine, it may also help improve digestion or reduce lower back pain. Seated twists follow these steps:
- Sit upright in your chair, placing your left hand on your right knee and your right arm over the backrest.
- Twisting your spine, turn to look over your right shoulder and hold for four breaths.
- As you breathe in, feel your spine lengthen.
- On the exhale, you can feel a deeper twist.
- Return to center as you breathe out then repeat on the other side.
If you can’t do these chair yoga exercises while facing forward, you can modify it by sitting sideways in your chair and using both hands to grasp the backrest as you twist. Be sure not to force your spine to twist too far, however, to avoid accidentally injuring yourself.
Seated Chest Opener
Seated chest openers are excellent chair yoga exercises for loosening the muscles in your upper body. Follow these steps for the seated chest open and make the most of your chair yoga benefits:
- Sit on the front edge of your chair and interlock your handstand fingers behind your back.
- As you breathe in, lift your hands up and away from your back.
- Simultaneously, lift your chin away from your chest.
- As you breathe out, you can lower your hands.
- Repeat this exercise for at least two full breaths.
- Switch the grip of your hands and repeat.
This type of exercise also makes an ideal addition to a post workout recovery routine in order to prevent muscles from seizing up through painful conditions like Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
Seated Forward Fold
Of all the chair yoga exercises we’ll be exploring today, the seated forward fold is one of our favorites. This can be a wonderful pose to use for sciatica treatment at home or to provide chronic back pain relief. Be sure not to push yourself too far and always respect your physical limitations to avoid injury.
The seated forward fold follows these easy steps:
- Start with your hands on top of your thighs and breathe in deeply.
- As you breathe out, begin to fold forward at your hips (do not round your upper back) and drape your body over your legs.
- Slide your hands down toward the floor (either hold each elbow with the opposite hand or let your arms dangle to the floor).
- Allow your body to hang heavy over your legs and your head and neck to relax.
- Breathing in, rest your hands on your thighs and slowly roll back up to your original position.
The seated forward fold is an ideal part of any chair yoga routine. In addition to the benefits it provides, it also segues easily into the next on our list of chair yoga exercises, the extended side angle.
Chair Extended Side Angle
Easily done as a continuation of the seated forward fold, last up on our list of easy chair yoga exercises comes the extended side angle. Follow these steps to combine the two movements for optimal chair yoga benefits:
- After your final forward fold, stay folded over.
- Bring your left fingertips to the floor on the outside of your left foot.
- Breathe in and open your chest as you twist to the right, bringing your right arm and looking to the ceiling.
- Hold this position for several breaths.
- Breathing out, bring your right arm down and return to the folded position.
- Repeat for each side three to five times.
If your hand doesn't reach easily to the floor, you can also place a block under it or bring it to your left knee instead and twist from there. These chair yoga exercises are easily modified to fit your needs.
As you can see, there are plenty of easy zero gravity chair yoga exercises you can do at home, at the office, or wherever you’re sitting down! These low-impact exercises are beneficial for people of all levels of experience. Choosing a zero gravity chair to combine with chair yoga exercises is a great way to ensure you’re taking care of your body and mind while enjoying chair yoga benefits. Be mindful of any physical limitations, however, and take care not to overexert yourself.
Want to learn more about the potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs and how they could enhance your lifestyle? Check out these resources: