Chair yoga is a great introduction to yoga, especially for those who don't exercise on a regular basis. Chair Yoga is not only for people who are new to yoga but great for the seasoned practitioner who spends a little more time sitting then they would like. Practising yoga while seated at a desk does not seem like much of a workout but after 30 minutes of practice you will notice a difference. You'll feel more energized, grounded and ready to face the world from your office.
Try this simple sequence of stretching, breathing and meditation at your desk.
1. Equal Seated Posture -- Start by sitting at the edge of your seat with both feet flat on the floor with your shoes off. Sit tall with your spine lengthening, growing a little taller and longer from the crown of your head. Close your eyes and begin to relax.
2. Complete Breath -- With your eyes closed, focus your awareness on your breath. Begin by taking a four second inhale through your nose and a four second exhale out your mouth. Relax your jaw and deepen your breath.
3. Seated Cat-Cow Pose -- Open your eyes and interlace your fingers. Inhale as you turn your palms up to the sky, extending your arms overhead, opening your shoulders and gazing upwards. Lift from your waistline. Exhale and round your back. Interlace your fingers behind your head and gently bring your chin towards your chest. Repeat postures two and three about five to eight times.
4. Seated Side Bend -- Inhale as you extend your arms overhead taking your left wrist with your right hand. Turn your left palm upward and exhale as you lift up and over to the right. You will feel the stretch on the left side waist. Avoid compressing the right side. Stay in this posture for a few cycles of breath. Inhale to come back to neutral, and then switch sides.
5. Seated Twist -- Continue sitting tall and take your left hand to your right knee and the right hand behind your back. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to gently twist to the right. Hold for a few breaths. Try to avoid straining your neck. Keep your chin right on top of your sternum. Relax your shoulders and breathe. Inhale to come back to centre and twist in the opposite direction. Inhale to come back to centre again.
6. Relaxation/Meditation -- Close your eyes and sit comfortably with your spine in its most neutral state. Sit for a few minutes with your awareness at your breath. You may enjoy counting your inhales and exhales to quiet your mind. Begin with silently repeating one as you inhale and two as you exhale. When you notice that your mind has drifted away to thoughts or sounds in the environment, gently bring it back to the repetition of one on your inhale and two on your exhale. After your meditation, take a few minutes to yourself before going back to work.