Let’s face it, try as we may to get out for that lunchtime walk or early-morning run, lots of us have spent most of the past year in what we’d refer to in yoga terms as the sitting-down-on-the-sofa pose. Great for binge-watching the best of Netflix, not so great for maintaining a healthy, mobile body. Cue Chair Yoga – the easy, effective joint support solution you didn’t know existed!
To prepare, get comfortably seated in a sturdy chair on a flat surface, preferably in loose, non-restrictive clothing. Sit tall and straighten your spine. Your knees should be aligned with your hips, and your heels under your knees. Look straight ahead, and take a deep, cleansing breath.
The shoulder shrug
Breathe in deeply as you bring your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for a few seconds and release, exhaling slowly as you do. Repeat four times.
The forward bend
Take a deep breath in and hold. Exhale slowly, and as you do, bend forwards slowly, carefully extending a vertebrae at a time. You should stop when you can feel the stretch. If it hurts or it’s uncomfortable, bring it back a little. Hold this position for four deep breaths and then slowly return to the upright position.
The body twist
Rest your right hand on your left leg and put your left hand on the chair behind you. Keeping your spine tall and straight, turn your head to the left and hold. Take four deep breaths, and then repeat on the other side.
Lean forwards slowly towards the edge of your seat. Hold onto the back of your chair with outstretched arms. Push your chest out and shoulders back to intensify the stretch. Take four deep breaths.
Slowly raise your arms while inhaling deeply, stretching them right up towards the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds, and then exhale while bringing your arms downwards. Repeat four times.
The leg raise
Make sure you’re still sitting nice and tall. One leg at a time, lift your knee up and extend the leg out in front of you, keeping your heel parallel to the floor. Hold for a few seconds before bringing your leg back down slowly. Repeat four times on each leg.
The neck stretch
Tilt your head back slowly until you can see the ceiling. Holding onto the chair with your right hand, use the left to reach up and touch your temple. Next, gently dip your right ear towards your right shoulder. Take four deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.