Here we have modified the sequence of 12 positions of sun salutations for those with more limited movement on the chair. The modified sequence retains the fluidity of movement and breath to benefit the whole body. Chair sun salutations are gently invigorating and calm the body. Try them out to feel energized and balanced. In each movement, feel the inhaled breath move from the pelvic floor to head and the exhaled breath move from the head to the pelvic floor. In each movement, just go as far as you are allowed or what your level of comfort permits. Check with your doctor about what you can and cannot do.
If it is hard to coordinate the body movements with the breath, do the movements and let the breath just happen. But you must remember to breath and NOT hold the breath.
- Please begin with the base sitting position described in Chair Yoga. Bring the both palms together at heart level, elbows tucked in. Focus on the breath at the heart level.
- As the inhalation flows from the pelvis floor to the head, raise both arms so that they come alongside the ears. Slightly elevate the chest bone and chin.
- As the body begins to exhale down to the pelvis floor, keeping the arms gently stretched, bend forward from the creases of the thighs, lowering the chest toward the thighs. Try to keep a straight back. Lower the arms toward the floor or the thighs.
- With inhalation, raise the trunk up to an upright position. Support the right knee with hands clasped under it. Exhale as you bring it up toward the chest. Raise your chin and chest bone slightly. Inhale and lower the right foot to the floor.
- Exhale as you lift the left knee to the chest as in the previous step. Inhale and lower the left foot to the floor.
- Exhale and bend forward from the creases of your thighs as you place both hand on thighs. Inhale into the chest as you drop the shoulders and pull them back slightly. Tilt the chin upwards comfortably. Feel the stretch in your neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
- Exhaling, draw the belly in and soften the spine as it gently curves. Draw the shoulders forward and in. Bring the head comfortably down toward the chest. Feel the stretch in the neck, upper back and spine.
- Inhaling, bring the trunk back to the upright position.
- Exhaling, place the right elbow/wrist on the left thigh. Turning from the belly, turn the upper body (chest and shoulders) to the left. Inhaling, come back to the center.
- Exhaling, repeat the movement to the right side by bringing the left elbow/wrist to the right thigh.
- Inhaling, come back to the center and raise arms so they are in line with the ears.
- Exhaling, bring the arms down, palms together in front of the chest.
Relax the arms and allow the breath to settle.
Repeat two more times.
Be aware of the body with each inhaled and exhaled breath. Close your eyes and count 10 breaths backwards from 10 to 1, being aware of the flow of breath within the body. Observe how the body and mind feel. Then slowly open your eyes.