Let’s face it. We’ve all experienced back pain at some point in our lives – some of us more than others – and it’s the absolute worst. Finding ways to reduce the pain can be difficult, sometimes a good stretch helps and other times it makes it worse. However, what if you could find a way to alleviate back pain without having to get up from your chair?
Chair yoga versus “normal” yoga
The biggest difference between the two is the fact that chair yoga is performed while sitting down. However, a lot of asanas in yoga has a seated version and you are able to adapt poses accordingly. The chair merely acts as a safety precaution to reduce the risk of hurting yourself further.
Chair yoga is a great way to alleviate back pain and can also be used by people recovering from injury or individuals with problematic joints. In essence, both forms are the same and look to accomplish the same end result.
Poses suitable for chair yoga (All poses are performed in a seated position)
Put your hands behind you on the edge of your chair with your fingers pointing to the edge of the chair. Lift yourself up onto your fingertips and pull your pelvis inwards while lifting your lower back. Follow through until your chest and shoulders open up. Hold for five breaths and release.
Slowly lower your hands down to your knees. When inhaling, arch your back and then look upwards. Hold for five breaths and then exhale. While you exhale straighten your spine and slowly lower your head.
With your feet hip-width apart and then your arms hanging by your sides, start rounding down your spine from your head. As you exhale, release your forehead and allow it to slowly drop forward until your head is resting on your thighs (or as close as possible). As you inhale, slowly roll up into a seated position. Continue for five cycles of breath.
Start with your hands resting on your knees. As you inhale, move your torso in a circular, clockwise movement starting from the base of your spine. Repeat for five cycles of breath and then repeat using a counter-clockwise motion.
Lift your right leg over your knee and rest your foot on your left knee in a 90-degree angle position – you should feel a stretch in your thigh. Hold for five breaths and repeat on the other side.
Downward facing dog:
Stand up and face your chair with feet hip-width apart. Slowly roll your shoulders backwards and move forwards from the waist. Lift your wrists upward and pull your stomach in. As you release, take a few steps forward and place your hands on your thighs. Roll your shoulders as you return to a standing position.
Place your hands on your hips and then slowly bend forward, keeping the spine straight as you do so. Let your hands touch the floor and slowly drop your head. Stay for 5 breaths and then slowly release.
If you want to learn more about yoga, and even become a yoga instructor yourself, you should consider studying our Yoga Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.