There’s an entire world of props that can be used in a yoga class but perhaps none as versatile as a yoga chair. Often when people hear the term “chair yoga” they think of a class where all the participants are seated, moving through modified poses. And that’s generally how most “chair yoga” classes are taught.
But there’s a great deal of benefit for all students — regardless of experience — to occasionally use a chair as a way to further their body’s ability to achieve the most from various yoga poses. It can add support, extension, bracing and resistance to help you go just a little deeper. In addition, it gives tactile cues, helping you better understand/feel where to “engage” in order to achieve the pose’s benefits.
Giving your body a framework as it works to achieve a certain shape can be extremely helpful in making sure the body alignment is appropriate. Its great for deepening backbends, using the chair frame to help anchor shoulders, hips, etc. so as to prevent injury.
The chair is extremely beneficial in refining many basic poses like Warrior Two. “Feeling” how the pose changes when the front leg is actually bent to 90 degrees or level with hips can be a true gamechanger in deepening your yoga practice & protecting your body from misalignment.
Often a chair is particularly helpful when a student is recovering from an injury or when they’re not able to easily get up and down from the floor. The chair can work as a way to “bring the floor” to them, allowing nearly all poses to be modified for those with these kinds of mobility restrictions.
While a standard folding chair can be used, a better option is an actual yoga chair which has been built without a back and with legs slanted for maximum stability.
If you’re interested in exploring how props like the yoga chair can benefit your practice or you’re just generally interested in yoga, let me know! I offer a limited number of private and small group classes at my downtown Topeka location. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 785-633-6637 Namaste!