Don’t Get Up: 6 Key Chair Yoga Poses

No matter what time of day, when the slump washes over you, it’s hard to keep at bay. Now that many of us are working at home, the possibility of a nap is so close at hand. But rather than packing it in and blowing off your workday, keep your mind alert and your body limber with these six desk chair yoga poses recommended by the Chopra Centre (yes, that Chopra).

Spinal Cord Breathing

Bring your body to the front of your chair and with both feet flat on the floor, sit up as tall as you can. Put your arms out to your side with your elbows bent and hands facing up so you look like a goal post. Make soft fists with your hands. As you inhale, look up, draw your elbows back and slightly arch your spine backward. As you exhale, bring your elbows in towards your stomach and round your back forward. Pay attention to your movement and your breath and try to keep them aligned. Repeat for 5 to 10 breaths.

Spinal Twist

Start centred on your chair. Face forward, bring your knees close together and keep your feet on the floor. Inhale and bring both arms straight up towards the sky, palms facing each other. As you exhale, bring your hands down and rotate your spine so that the palm of your left hand is on the outside of your right leg. Gently draw your chin over your right shoulder and keep your head and spine straight. Don’t force yourself, and stop when it became uncomfortable. The more you do it the more flexible you’ll become. Repeat on the left side. And do the twists as many times as feels good for you.

Joyful Breaths: 3-Step Inhalation

Start seated and folded forward on your chair, with your chest resting on your upper thighs. First, inhale and roll your spine up so you’re seated straight and swing both arms out in front of you, fingers forward. Second, inhale and drop your arms to rest them in your lap, then swing them out to your side at shoulder height. Third, inhale and lower your arms slightly, then swing them up o the sky. Now, exhale and fold forward back to the starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Sun Salutation

Begin by sitting comfortably with your spine upright and your hands at your chest, breathing easily. Inhaling, reach upward with both hands into the sky and extend your spine. Bend forward, lay your chest on your knees and allow your hands to rest alongside your feet. Exhale. Arch your back and pull your left knee up while looking toward the ceiling. Inhale. Partially exhale while bringing your chin toward your left knee, gently rolling your back forward. Again, place your chest on your knees and your hands on the floor next to your feet. Exhale fully. With your hands and arms down by your legs, arch your back and neck while inhaling partially. Inhale as you bring your right knee up and extend your back in a gentle arch. Partially exhale as you bend forward and bring your chin to your right knee. Fully exhale, bend forward with your chest on your knees, your neck flexed, and your arms along your legs. Stretch upwards to the sky and extend your spine while inhaling. Return to the resting salutation pose with your hands at your chest, breathing easily. Repeat for as many times as feels comfortable.


Start with your body near the front edge of the chair and your legs spread so that they are slightly wider than your shoulders. Place both arms out to the sides and keep them level with your shoulders. Inhale and expand your chest slightly while you lengthen your arms. Exhale and slowly rotate your right arm to the sky and your left hand to the floor. Return to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Pulling Down Heaven

To wrap up, inhale deeply as you bring both arms up to the sky and form a circle. Exhale and bring your hands down in front of your face, then to your lap. Inhale and repeat this 5 to 10 times.

When you’re finished, you should feel energized, centred and ready for the rest of the day.

By Staples Canada

May 01, 2020