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

  • I've always found most yoga classes and dvds too difficult. But I found that I could actually do these poses, and really got a good full body stretch. I'm definitely adding this to my daily workout. Thank you. - 9/2/2015 3:50:10 PM
  • I wish they had a PDF of this article. - 8/12/2015 11:23:18 AM
  • #4 Seated Forward Fold shows the instructor with her legs together and the directions say “spread your legs slightly wider than hip's distance apart.” It helps if the picture and instructions are the same. - 8/4/2015 10:37:43 AM
  • The title should read "...done WITH a chair" not FROM a chair...for those of us who aren't able to do poses on the floor that distinction is critical. - 5/15/2015 7:29:58 PM
  • Ah, eased the tension - melted it away! Thanks!!! - 2/27/2015 11:06:10 AM
    Thank you for poses while being seated. I have multiple sclerosis( MS) and II am able
    to do these poses. - 11/6/2014 12:50:40 PM
    I have heard that isolated neck rolls aren't good for you. It's better to do a pose/asana that involves more of the body but still stretches the neck. - 10/14/2014 8:27:30 PM
  • I use to have a patient that did these stretches. Now that I'm older maybe I'll give them a try. - 10/14/2014 10:08:27 AM
  • Nice, but I'm not allowed to sit down until break times. Now I need yoga poses to do standing, on a shop floor! - 9/7/2014 1:14:39 PM
    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

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