Business woman doing yoga. Relaxation.

Chair yoga might not be something you’ve heard of, as it’s relatively new to the UK. Also called Seated Yoga, Corporate Yoga or Workplace Yoga, it’s popular in the US, and took off as a great alternative yoga practice for those who cannot easily get to the floor. It has evolved to become what is now one of the most accessible forms of yoga available to those of all mobility capabilities.

As the term suggests, it describes a yoga practice which modifies poses so that they can be done while sitting on a chair or standing using a chair for support. Many of the basic technicalities of the postures are kept intact, no matter what the position of the practitioner. While seated on chairs, yogis can do versions of twists, hip stretches, forward bends, and mild backbends.

In addition to a good stretch, chair yoga students can still delight in the other health benefits of yoga, including improved muscle tone, breathing habits, a decrease in stress, enhanced sleep, and a sense of well-being.

Who can do chair yoga?

Traditionally, chair yoga classes were targeted at older adults as those with mobility difficulties are a key beneficiary, but office workers are now more commonly taking advantage of chair yoga’s modifications to allow them to fit their yoga practice into their busy, sometimes stressful day. Employers are now recognising the value in promoting positive practices of relaxation and physical wellbeing within the workplace and many are now funding chair yoga sessions. The advantages of chair yoga classes in the workplace are clear, not only do you not need a big exercise space; chair yoga does not require a change of clothes as you can do it in work clothes if necessary, and as a result it is quicker because there is no need for changing, showering and changing back again. It’s perfect for the lunch hour.

Is it too easy to feel the benefit?

Don’t be fooled! When I went to my first chair yoga session, I felt it more the next day than from any other class I had taken. I was surprised! Yes, chair yoga has been adapted for use within a chair and as such, some of the benefits drawn from standing poses cannot be replicated in a seated pose. However, this simply means that the yogic focus is moved elsewhere within the body, and these poses can be just as challenging and helpful as those carried out whilst standing.

What about the chair?

Since chair yoga is all about adaptability, it should come as no surprise that the precise chair you use is not significant; you don’t have to run out and buy a specialist yoga chair. Chairs with wheels are not ideal, since they are insecure, but almost any other chair without arms will do.

How do I sign up?

Unfortunately, here at Aquarius Yoga we do not run regular chair yoga classes for individuals. However we can deliver bespoke chair yoga sessions on demand for groups, organisations, workplaces and companies who wish to provide an adapted yoga practice to their population. Please contact us for more details and a very affordable quote.