Sitting is the new…..Yoga time!

If you’re an experienced yogi, you may think Chair Yoga is something only your great-grandmother would be into. But think again! You don’t need to give up your active, mat-based practice to receive benefits from a modified chair practice.

Imagine it’s the middle of your work day, you’ve had meeting after meeting, and your back is getting cranky. You’ve read the studies – a sedentary lifestyle is now believed to be as damaging to your health as smoking. Studies have also shown that you can’t undo the damage caused by hours of consecutive sitting just by hitting the gym after work.

Good news: there’s an efficient, simple, and effective way to sneak a little yoga into your day, and you don’t need a mat, props, or yoga clothes to make it happen. All you need is a chair.

Step 1: Take a few deep, conscious breaths to reconnect to your physicality and commit to mentally turning off work for a few minutes.

Step 2: Be creative and try some modified yoga poses to get your spine and limbs moving (see pose ideas below). Even 5 minutes will make a big difference in how you feel.

Step 3: Don’t forget to carve out a few minutes to rest. You can try the variation below, or simply sit down, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. Notice how you feel after just a little bit of conscious breath and movement (and set a calendar reminder to do it again tomorrow!).

Practice Reminder: Listen to your body, and if any of the pose variations below are uncomfortable in any way, stop. These variations are quite gentle and suitable for most people, but you know your body best!

Chair Meditation & Conscious Breathing
Chair Spinal Mobilization – Inhale (aka Cow post of Cat/Cow)
Chair Spinal Mobilization – Exhale (aka Cat post of Cat/Cow)
Chair Supported Standing Lateral Bend
Chair Standing Twist (also a test for the balance!)
Chair Lunge
Chair Side Angle Pose
Chair Down Dog
Seated Hip Release
Legs up the Chair (aka Savasana!)

Kerry Maiorca is the founder of Bloom Yoga Studio, a successful independent community offering health and well-being in Chicago for 15 years and counting. She is also the chair of the board for Yoga Alliance. Learn more about Kerry’s teaching, writing, and recent webinar and podcast appearances at

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