Ever hated chair pose? Try chair yoga instead.

This morning I went over to the Playbusters’ Women’s Group in the east end to give them a half hour taster of restorative yoga. It’s always rewarding to introduce people to yoga, especially when they all come round from savasana (we did a lovely 10 minute one) feeling like they’ve had a proper night’s sleep. And it’s nice to dispel any preconceptions they might have had, to let them in on the secret that yoga actually really does make you feel amazing.

            It was a mixed bunch with various areas of stiffness, so I summoned my most soothing voice and took them through a slow restorative sequence. It was all based around chair pose – normally that’s this one:

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As much as I love this one, I thought it might be a bit much to spend 15 minutes here. So we went for this variation:

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Chair yoga. It’s genius! Basically, it’s yoga in a chair. Not a sun salute in sight. Focus, as always, was on the breath, and I’m super keen on neck releases at the moment so we spent a lot of time on those, along with a couple of long side stretches. Then I put them straight into savasana and led them through a body scan and a little visualisation. So calm and still! It was hard to bring them round – looked like everyone could have stayed for much longer. The only consolation for having to leave savasana behind was the tea and biscuits – I had loads – and then back on the bike for a nice sunny cycle home.

            

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