Fitness Articles

8 Seated Yoga Poses You Can Do from a Chair

A Gentle Yoga Workout That Feels Great

Although yoga has been around for thousands of years, it's become increasingly popular recently and has undergone quite the makeover. There are intense, sweaty styles of yoga that make the muscles of even the fittest people tremble; there are gentle forms of yoga that are suited for beginners; and there are even specialty yoga classes for athletes (think runners, swimmers, cyclists), people with arthritis, kids and even pregnant women.

Yoga offers many benefits, from reduced stress to improved strength and flexibility. But it can also be intimidating to some people. You might feel that you just "don't bend that way" or might not be able to keep up with others in a class, or have physical limitations that prevent you from easily moving up from and down to the floor or standing for a full hour. Enter chair yoga, a gentle style of yoga you can do from a (mostly) seated position that also incorporates the breathing and mind-body benefits of a traditional class.
Whether you're in a confined space, such as a cubicle or an airplane seat, you have mobility issues, or you're just looking for a few stretches you can do that simply feel good and help you melt away tension, this series of seated yoga exercises can be a great addition to your daily routine.
Before you begin any new physical activity, you should consult with your healthcare provider. These poses are suitable for most people, including seniors, people living with chronic pain, and those who use a wheelchair. Any contraindications are included with the poses.
(For detailed instructions of each pose, scroll below the graphic.)

Be sure to "Pin this" sequence for later reference!
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

    been looking for yoga stretched I can do. This will help a lot, except for the last one I'll leave that one alone. - 6/15/2014 3:03:45 AM
    So easy to do these poses! Thanks! - 5/29/2014 4:58:37 PM
  • I was all stiff and stuck with arthritis today until I did these. Now I feel like I can take on the whole world!! SUPER!!!!! - 2/16/2014 2:51:28 PM
  • I like this article, however no 8....what part of sitting on the floor is "from a chair" ?
    Otherwise, with mobility issues I appreciate the info overall.
    - 1/26/2014 7:56:36 PM
  • Going to start this right now! - 8/25/2013 4:57:23 AM
    I am a senior with arthritis and I will definitely start this program. - 8/15/2013 11:00:28 AM
  • I will give it a try and see what I can do. - 6/29/2013 8:44:23 AM
  • No problem. Just do what you can and aim in the right direction. I can't do it just like the pictures either, but I get a good stretch anyway. Love the article! - 6/26/2013 9:35:17 PM
  • Also, if I got into that last position, I'd never be able to get up again. - 5/27/2013 8:32:16 AM
  • Most of the people who would need "seated yoga" won't be able to double over and reach for the floor. I know I can't and I'm not confined to a chair. - 5/27/2013 8:31:00 AM
  • This helps to release stress. I am going to try to do these every other day! - 5/22/2013 9:43:18 PM
    Why are the photos not in keeping with the instructions? It says to keep your feet flat on the floor, but the woman in the photo does not, and one says to have your legs about hip wide apart, but the woman in the photo has hers together. - 5/18/2013 3:27:18 PM
    These poses were introduced to me in physical therapy, so I know thery are effective and professional. Thank you for reminding me of these seated poses. Definitely, I will incorporate into my day. - 5/13/2013 8:05:37 AM
  • I will try some of these yoga moves. - 5/8/2013 3:30:05 PM
    I'm disabled and I've been looking for something like this , where I can do it still sitting down . I will definitely try this , because I need to loosen up my bones and joints . I need a lot of help . - 5/7/2013 2:01:08 PM
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