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Transforming Fear to Joy

Yoga Actions for CHAIR YOGA V — to open your HEART

YOGA ACTIONS:  to open your HEART

  1. For your first 5 – 10 INHALES, expand the space between the sternal notch in the front body and the 7th cervical vertebra in the back body (visible bulge at base of neck).
  2. With your awareness, send the EXHALED breath along both the collar bones (front body) and the top of the shoulder blades (back body) into the shoulders.

1. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA

1. Place two blocks at wall for feet. Toe mounds into blocks; heels into wall.
2. Place chair so its upper back presses into your upper thighs, NOT public bone.
3. Place bolster on chair seat to support front torso from collapsing.
4. Extend arms & hands toward mat. Keep weight off of hands to allow spine to lengthen.

Stay for 3-5 minutes

2. PURVOTTANASANA

  1. Sit with both legs through chair back.
  2. Toe mounds into wall; heels into floor. Tailbone slides past back edge of chair seat.
  3. On exhale, release torso to chair seat. Thread arms between chair legs & clasp back rung.
  4. Place blocks under head if compression in neck &/or under heels if compression in back waist.

Stay for 3-5 minutes

3. CHEST/SHOULDER OPENER

  1. Place chair back into wall with bolster & block on chair seat.
  2. Take Baddha Konasana in front of chair.
  3. Inhale arms to ceiling & bend elbows reaching fingers for top of chair back. Release head to block.
    Stay with elbows up & parallel for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly walk fingers down sides of chair back until arms rest on bolster.

Stay for 3-5 minutes

4. SIRSASANA

  1. Place chair at wall with block or bolster on seat.
  2. From hands & knees in front of chair seat, take Sirsasana hand clasp, forearms on floor & elbows directly under shoulders.
  3. Exhale & press up into Sirsasana Dog. On next exhale, kick up into headless Sirsasana with heels into wall & legs straight. Release back of pelvis to support on chair seat. Keep head off floor.

Stay for 1-3 minutes

5. URDHVA DHANURASANA

  1. Begin by sitting on chair seat & sliding pelvis off while keeping head & upper back on chair seat.
  2. Press web of thumbs & index fingers into chair sides. Ankles align under knees.
  3. Inhale to lengthen spine & on exhale, press into hand webs & feet to lift pelvis & torso.
  4. Straighten arms, if possible.

Stay for 5-10 breaths. Release back to first position & repeat 2 more times.

6. URDHVA DHANURASANA

  1. Move chair away from wall & sit on chair seat.
  2. Place toe mounds into floor & bottom of chair legs.
  3. Firmly press heels into chair legs. Keep heels applying firm pressure throughout duration of pose.
  4. On exhale, lift pelvis off chair seat & place middle of shoulder blades on chair back.
  5. Inhale arms overhead & palms into wall. Walk palms down wall toward floor.

Stay for 10-20 breaths

7. BHARAVADJASANA

  1. Sit through chair back. Place L (left) arm on chair back.
  2. Inhale & lengthen spine out crown of head, exhale & turn breast bone to R (right).
  3. R hand reaches for front of chair seat.
  4. Pelvis & legs do NOT twist with rib cage.

Stay for 10-20 breaths & repeat twist on other side.

8. SARVANGASANA

  1. Place 2 or 3 double-folded & slant-stacked blankets (as per your capacity) in front of chair legs.
  2. Sit facing chair back with both bent knees draped over chair back.
  3. Hold chair back with bent knees as you slide your shoulders to rest on blankets.
  4. Back of head is on floor & shoulders are on blankets.
  5. Thread arms through chair legs & clasp back rung — palms up.
  6. Release pelvis to chair seat, if possible, & raise legs extending out heels.

Stay with palms facing up 1-2 minutes, then turn palms down 1-2 minutes.

Release to

9. CHAIR BADDHA KONASANA

  1. Drop feet to chair back as you slide back pelvis to blankets.
  2. Open knees out wide & hook front ankles to chair sides.

Stay for 10-20 breaths

10. SAVASANA

Stay for 5-10 minutes

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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