Chair yoga helps us to be strong and stable, and poses like extended side angle offer benefits to the lower and upper body. This pose is especially beneficial to strengthen the legs, open the hips, stretch the spine, lengthen the side body and massage the internal organs. Remember to build this pose from the ground up, think your feet into the floor so you can access that upward movement to stretch the spine and open the heart.
Sitting tall in tadasana on the front of your chair, widen your legs and feet out about 45 degrees. Firm your thighs as you turn them outward, aiming the center of the kneecaps in line with the center of the ankles. With your shoulder blades down against the back ribs, lean forward to place your right elbow lightly on the right thigh as you turn the torso toward the left.
With an inhalation reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, turning the left palm to face toward the floor in front of you. Stretch from your left heel through your left fingertips, lengthening the entire left side of your body. If your neck is comfortable, turn your gaze up toward the left hand. If you have neck issues, keep your gaze in the same direction as the heart center or gaze down to the floor allowing your neck to be relaxed and even on both sides.
Try to create as much length along the right side of your torso as you do along the left, relaxing your right shoulder away from your right ear. Stay for 30 seconds or 5 to 7 breaths. Reaching up through the left arm on an inhale, firm the core and exhale to release the pose. Take a few centering breaths in tadasana. Repeat for the same length of time to the left.
- Strengthens thighs, hips, knees and ankles
- Stretches the groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, lungs (intercostals) and shoulders
- Massages and stimulates abdominal organs
- Increases endurance and stamina
Enjoy the benefits of chair yoga with Suzi at Grey Bears, Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30am at Grey Bears.