Chair Yoga is great for people with limited mobility as well as those who spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk. You can practice the following exercises pretty much everywhere. Your knees should be bend in a 90 degree angle. You might have to put a block or a big book under your feet to make sure they are in line with your knees.
1. CAT AND COW
Put your hands onto your knees. With your inhalation lift up your chest and pull your shoulder-blades together. Let your head drop back. With the exhalation, round your back like a cat.
Continue this movement, following your breath. Then start moving faster and faster. At the end of the exercise, hold each pose for a few breaths. This exercise is a great way to warm up your spine.
2. FORWARD BEND
Sit with your legs open and put your hands onto your knees. Create length in your spine with the inhalation. Then bend forward and bring your hands to the floor with the exhalation. Breathe in again and lengthen your spine, exhale and bend down deeper
With the next inhalation lift up your right arm and open your upper body towards the right hand side. Both arms are in one line. Exhale and bring both hands back to the floor. With the next inhalation, lift up your left arm. Repeat this 5 times on each side.
Interlace your fingers behind your head. With the inhalation, lift up your chest and pull your elbows together. With the exhalation, bring your elbows together in front of your head.
Keep doing this movement following your breath pattern and then start moving faster. At the end of the exercise, hold both asana for a few breaths. This exercise is great to open your chest.
Grab opposite elbows and bring your arms above your head. Create length in your spine with the inhalation and bring the upper body towards the right hand side with the exhalation. Inhale and come back to the center, exhale and bend the upper body to the left.
5. SEATED TWIST Bring your left hand onto your right knee and the right hand to the back of the chair. Inhale and lift up your spine, exhale and twist to the right. Stay here for a few breaths and then change sides.
6. PIGEON POSE
Bring your left foot onto your right thigh. Flex the foot and let your knee drop towards the floor. You can stay here or you can start to bend forward. Try to create length in your spine with every inhalation and to bend down deeper with every exhalation.
7. REVERSED TABLE-TOP
Bring your hands onto the chair behind you and lift your hips towards the ceiling. For an easier version, bend your knees.
8. ARDHA HANUMANASANA
Stand next to your chair and put your right foot onto the seat of the chair. Your hips are in one line. Flex your foot and feel the stretch in the back of your leg. If you want to come into a deeper stretch, bend your upper body over your front leg. Create length in your spine with every inhalation and bend deeper with every exhalation.
9. WARRIOR 2 – REVERSED WARRIOR – EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE
Bend your right leg, your knee is aligned with your ankle. Your left leg is straight, the foot in a 45 degree angle. Your shoulders are relaxed. Look over your front middle finger. Stay here for a few breaths. Warrior 2.
Lift your right arm towards the ceiling and let your left arm sink towards your left leg. Reversed Warrior.
Bend your right arm and put your forearm onto your front thigh. Lift your left arm up and twist your upper body towards the ceiling. If you want to intensify the pose, bring your right hand towards the floor or onto a block. Both arms are in one line.
At the end of the sequence, take a few minutes to relax. Come into a comfortable seated position or lie down on your back. Close your eyes and take a few long deep breaths.