Chair Yoga for People with Less Mobility

Chair Yoga is a form of yoga that are suitable for people who want to do something about to their health and wellbeing, but they can no longer stand and sit on a mat for hours for Asana Pose. So that for those restricted mobility no longer need give up yoga , but instead, by mean of movement, can take their destiny in their hands and improve their circulation , deliver more oxygen to their cell and so gradually increase mobility and enhance their brain function.

Perhaps, chair yoga also very benefits for those workaholic or person need to travel a lot. They still can flexibly practice “Chair Yoga” when travel by train or airplane, or during break in work.

60 Mins Chair Yoga for those less mobility or movement constrain by space

1./ Pranayama

-Start with 3 round of Ujjayi breathing

– 10 cycles of Nadi Sholdhana , do for 3 rounds. In between the break, do 3 rounds of Ujjayi breathing .

2/ Exercises for The Feet and Toes

a) Alternately raise the toes and the heels of both feet, make a rocking movement on the floor,  10 times.

b) Alternate Clenching and spreading the toes of both feet, 10 times.

c) Make clockwise / anticlockwise circle movement from the ankles of both feet, 10 times.

3/Exercises for the Legs

a)Bending the legs – Sit on the front of the Chair , stretch out your right leg ,Inhale and straighten your back .  As you exhale , slowly bend your right knee and use both hands to grasp behind the right knee , let you knee try to touch your nose . Next Inhale , sit up straight and stretch your leg out . Repeat on left leg and do 2 cycles.

b) Making circles with the heels – Raise your right leg and make circles with your right heel, start with small one and gradually make them larger. Then circle in the opposite direction. Do for 5 times for each direction. Repeat with left leg. The pose should practice with deep and evenly breathing into abdomen.

4/ Pelvic Floor Exercise

a) Tensing the muscles of the pelvic floor – Inhale, squeeze your buttocks together hard and pull your anus upwards. Hold for 3 breathe.  As you exhale, release. Do this for 10 times.

5/ Exercises for the core muscle

a)Bicycling – Slide your bottom forwards and lean back against the chair, hand hold on the side of the chair . Raise your leg and ‘ Pedal ‘ a few revolutions forwards and then backwards- 5 times each ways . Repeat on you left leg.

b ) Variation for advance students with good abdominal muscles – Pedal with both legs in the same direction, 5 times revolution forwards and then backwards.

c) Boat Pose – Inhale , stretch your legs and arm ( as far as possible together , all at once) out in front of you. Hold the stretch for 2 breaths. As you exhale , slowly lower your arms and legs. Repeat for 5 times .

6/ Exercises for the fingers, hands and wrist

a) Interlacing the finger, rotate clockwise and anticlockwise 5 times each .

b) Pressing the palms together – Inhale, press your hands together hard in front of your chest  ; Exhale , release them . Repeat for 3 times.

7/ Exercises for Arms and shoulder

a)Making circle with the arms – Inhale, raise your arm out in front of you make a circle upwards. As you exhale, continues in a backwards direction to complete the circle. Gaze at the palm of your hand. Do for 3 times and change direction. Repeat on your left arm.

b)Widening the chest – Inhale, Make fists with your hands and raise your arm to chest height. As you exhale, open your arms wide (still with fists) , feel  the chest widens . Repeat for 3 times .

c)Moutain Pose ( Upward stretch) – Inhale, slowly raise your arms sideways and stretch them up over your head until the palms of your hands meet together. Hold in the pose for 5 breathe. As you exhale, slowly lower your arms back down by your sides. Repeat for 3 times .

8/Exercises for the back

a)Natarajasana ( Dance Pose) – Step your right foot a little way out in front, and your left foot a little way back. Your left hands hold onto the back of the chair. As you inhale, stretch your right arm vertically upwards and look up at your right hand. Hold at this pose for 5 breathe. Exhale, slowly lower your right arm , take your left hand away from the back of the chair . Bring your feet together. Repeat on the other side.

b) Twisting forward bend – Knee shoulder width apart , lay your left forearm across your thighs and shift most of your weight onto your left elbow. Inhale , slowly raise your right arm out to the ceiling ; gaze at your right hand and hold for 5 breathe. Exhale , slowly lower your right arm and release left arm. Repeat on the other side.

c) Tiger breathing – Sit on the front of your chair and push you hands forwards onto your knees. This movement sequence begins in the pelvis. Inhale , tilt your pelvis forwards , then bend backwards, gaze at front. Exhale , tilt your pelvis backwards and arch you back. Gaze at your navel . Do this movement slowly for 10 times.

9/ Exercise for both sides of the brain

a) Raising opposite arm and leg – Sit with your back against the chair. Inhale , stretch your left leg arm out in front of you . Exhale, slowly lower your arm and leg. Repeat this on the opposite arm and leg. Do for 5 times for each side.

b) Horizontal figure of eight – Raise your arm up over your head, palm face to the front and swing them in a horizontal figure of eight. Do 5 times each to the right, then to the left.

10/ Relaxation – Lean straight on your chair . Hands are resting loosely on your lap. Relax your leg on the floor. Focus and aware on your breathing. Close your eyes if feel more comfortable.

To end the class, inhale as you exhale chant “OM”. Do for 3 times.


Esther Woon Chooi Kean (200hr weekend YTTC 2013)