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Transforming Fear to Joy

Yoga Actions for CHAIR YOGA I — to lengthen the SPINE

Standing Poses to Lengthen the Spine

Do each pose within your capacity, which means finding the level of sensation that presents a challenge without experiencing aggression or pain.

Complete the following Yoga Actions while in each pose.

YOGA ACTIONS:  to lengthen the Spine

1.  NAVEL lifts to back waist.
2.  TAILBONE extends away from CROWN while CROWN extends toward wall.

1 & 2.  SALAMBA (SUPPORTED) UTTANASANA

1.  BASE (mounds) of 5 digits gently press into chair.
2.  EXHALE & step back into right-angle – outer hips over outer knees over outer ankles.

Stay for 5 – 15 complete BREATHS

(1 breath = 1 inhale + 1 exhale)

Release head & hands to pose below.

1.  Forehead (third eye chakra) rests on chair seat.
2.  Clasp elbows.
3. Complete the Yoga Actions.

5 – 15 BREATHS

Slowly return to standing.  If wobbly or dizzy, place forehead into wall until blood pressure normalizes.

3.  SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA II

OR

1. R heel rests on height appropriate to your capacity – both legs are straight.
2. EXHALE & Side bend at hip crease (NOT waist) to R (right); slide R hand along inside of leg or place on chair seat;
3. Rotate breast bone to L (left) & INHALE L arm overhead toward wall.

5-10 Breaths

REPEAT posture & Yoga Actions on other side.

4.  SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA I

1. Choose appropriate height for L leg & INHALE arms overhead.
2. R foot points slightly to R of body’s midline rather than straight forward.

5-10 Breaths

3. On next EXHALE, fold forward at hip crease.  Straight arms reach toward wall.

5-10 Breaths

4. On next INHALE, lift arms overhead.  EXHALE & release arms & leg.

REPEAT posture on other side.

5.  SALAMBA UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA III

1. Begin in Utthita Hasta Pad I facing wall with hands on hips.
2. Place L heel into chair or block.
3. Without twisting the pelvis, gently rotate breast bone to L & place back of R hand on outside of L leg.
4.  Allow twist to unfold.  Only if shoulder allows, straighten L arm into centre of room.

5-10 Breaths

REPEAT on other side.

6.  SALAMBA ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA

Hands on chair seat

1. Place palms onto sticky mat atop chair seat.
2. EXHALE & step feet back into downward dog.
3. Remember to complete the Yoga Actions.

10-15 Breaths & move into next posture.

7.  EKA PADA ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA

1. EXHALE & lift L leg without rotating or torquing the pelvis.
2. Extend out both heels.  Complete the Yoga Actions.

5-10 Breaths

REPEAT on other side.

8.  SALAMBA VIRABHADRASANA II

1. Baby toe side of L foot is into wall & palm of L hand rests into wall.
2. Align the L heel inside the R heel.
3. R thigh completely rests on chair seat with R knee stacked over R ankle.
4. Rotate breast bone back toward L arm.  Crown aligns over tailbone.
5. INHALE & raise R arm to shoulder height.  Soft gaze over R fingertips.

10-15 Breaths

9.  SEATED BHARAVAJASANA I

1. L side of body faces chair back.  Knees stacked over ankles.  Complete the Yoga Actions.
2. INHALE & on EXHALE, move R hand to chair side while breast bone rotates to L.  L hand can catch side of chair seat.
3. Pelvis & legs do not move.
4. Head turns with breast bone.

10-15 Breaths

REPEAT other side.

10.  SALAMBA SAVASANA

1. Rest calves to back of knees on chair seat.
2. Arms about 45 degrees from side body. Palms face up. Back of shoulders release toward mat.
3. Place support (blanket, block, book) under head if chin lifts toward ceiling rather than releases toward breast bone.

5-15 MINUTES (watch each inhale & exhale at the tips of your nostrils for the entire pose.)

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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