7 Yoga Poses from a Chair

Continuing with our theme of do it yourself yoga (last week we gave you tips for an any-sized home yoga space), we know that you can’t always make it to a class when you need one. So… we want to help equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to be a self-guided yogi, functioning all on your own out there in the big bad world.   Say, in the middle of the workday when it’s just too busy to take a lunch.  Or, two hours in to your second flight of the day on a trip (hopefully somewhere fun!).  Don’t sweat it, we’ve got your back.

We’ve put together some great stretches you can do right from your desk chair, or even in the middle seat of an airplane (yes… there is room)!  Keep these seven moves favorited for the next time you need a little seated stretch relief!

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Seated Neck Stretch - From a tall seated position, take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, let your right ear drop towards your right shoulder.  Take a few deep breaths here, being mindful, letting your shoulder blades relax down your back.  Inhale the head back through center, take a few shoulder rolls, and on an exhale, switch to the left side.


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Seated Spinal Twist - Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale twist your chest to face towards the right.  You can deepen this stretch up the spine by taking your gaze over the right shoulder in the back.  Use your legs or the seat as leverage beneath your hands to gently pull you deeper into the stretch.


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Seated Overhead Reach - On a breath in, reach your hands up to the ceiling, interlocking your fingers.  Press your palms up to deepen the stretch from your fingers all the way underneath your shoulders.  Be sure to watch out for your neighbors as you take those arms up!


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Seated Overhead Lateral Reach - Continuing to watch out for neighbors, if there’s room, you can exhale and extend that reach to each side.  Spend a few breaths on each side or move with one breath one motion a few times, coming back through center on an inhale.


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Seated Forward Fold - Yes, you can squeeze this in an airplane seat, trust us (if long-legged Sprenkel can do it, so can you!).  Bend through your knees and fold forward reaching for your feet.  Let your head hang heavy between your arms.


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Seated Figure 4 - Take one ankle and cross it over the opposite knee.  Simply sitting like this may be a deep enough stretch for some of you.  For others, feel free to lean forward with the chest a little bit, folding over the legs.  Be sure to switch sides.


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Standing Chest Opener (also can do seated with hands on back of desk or seat in front of you) - This is a sweet sweet ending to this sequence, and almost feels like a downward facing dog.  You can use a wall if you are in your office, the overhead bin area if you can stand on the plane, or the seat in front of you if you can’t stand.  Place your hands above you on your designated space and on an exhale, allow your chest to fall between your shoulders, sinking your hips back.  Play around with the space you have, maybe taking a little twist or two to either side.

Good luck trying these poses at home, and please be sure to let us know if you try any of these and how they change your day or your trip!  And don’t try to tell us we never taught you anything ;).