Yoga in the new age can conjure up an image of incredibly flexible young bohemians bent in sensuous postures, but that is not the only reality of this age old discipline of health and spiritual wellbeing. Yoga is a path to freedom which can be taken by anyone and everyone, even those whose mobility is challenged either due to physical inability or circumstance. Yes, we are addressing the problem of those bound to the chair, by a sedentary job or physical handicap.
Yoga can be a very effective solution to stiff backs and painful rusted joints resulting from lack of movements. Try a few easy postures you can add to your daily practice, and all you need for a prop is a strong, stable chair!
The Shoulder Shrug:
Sit upright on a chair with a fairly solid seat to maintain firmness along your spine. Place your hands lightly on your thighs and inhale as you raise your shoulders to your ears. Hold the breath for some time and feel the tension spreading from your spine to the two sides of your back. Now, exhale and release. Let your back muscles soften again. Breathe normally 3 to 4 times and repeat if it feels good.
The Seated Fan Posture:
Sit at the edge of a hard backed chair and twist your arms backwards to clasp it at the back. This might be extremely hard for those already suffering from a stiff back in which case asking someone to help you perform the movement is advisable. After you achieve this posture, lean forward as your shoulders are gently pushed back. Don’t pressurize yourself to the point it becomes pain but let the tension work on your muscles.
The Sea Horse:
In this posture you need to turn to your side keeping one arm to the chair back and the other along the front side. Let the leg coordinated to the arm in the front be bent on the ground in a kneeling position. The other leg can be placed in the front with foot on the floor and bent so that the thigh is supported on the chair settee. In this posture, keep yourself seated tall and rock in the front and in the back, creating movement in the hips. With improved agility you can fasten the rocking motion and make the bends deeper.
The Wide-Legged Bending:
Seat at the edge of your chair with your legs parted wide and bend forward slowly. Synchronize your breath to your movements by bending down while letting out an exhalation. Your head and arms must hang low and loose. Relax your mind from all the hang-ups that bring painful memories or surge of negativity. After this purgation, slowly come back to the upright seated posture and you draw in fresh breath.
The Seated Nidra:
In the sequence of yoga on the chair, this comes last just as the nidra or yogic sleep wraps up a sequence of asanas on the mat. In this stage, you do not have to bind your body to a particular posture. Relapse on the chair just as you are, just the way your body falls and relax. Close your eyes and put to sleep every muscle in your body as you consciously can. Breathe slowly and focus your mind on a good thought. Let peace overtake your consciousness.
Now that you know how a chair can replace the mat, start yoga right away wherever you are, bidding adieu to stiffness from sitting still.
To know about these yoga poses in further detail, explore our Yoga Teacher Training In India.