It's Health & Safety at Work week this week and while this automatically brings to mind how we should be lifting boxes, operating machinery and wearing safety goggles, here at The Frog Project we think health & safety at work can also mean taking care of your mental and physical wellbeing.
If we've learnt anything in the last couple of years, it's that a foggy, tired, burnt out mind is not a healthy or a safe place to be.
How can Chair Yoga help?
Simple yoga postures can help relieve tired or achey bodies and bring some fresh blood and oxygen into the areas that need it the most, leaving you feeling refreshed, energised, more focused and motivated.
Without further ado, dedicate the next 10 minutes to moving through the following postures. Breathe deep and see what fun you can have with your chair! No experience or props needed. Maybe even line a few of your favourite songs up to further motivate and inspire you. Hit play and let's go!
10 poses in 10 minutes
Big breath in, stretch your arms up and over your head. Gently lift your chest and chin. Close your eyes and hold for 5 breaths. Exhale relax your arms back down.
2. Take a big breath in and as your breathe out bring your hands behind you and hold onto the sides of your chair. Gently lift your chest and chin. Relax your shoulders. Close your eyes and hold for 5 breaths.
3. Take a big breath in, and as you breathe out gently twist to one side. Take hold of the back of your chair with one hand or both. Relax your shoulders and your jaw. Close your eyes and take 5 nice big breaths, in and out of the nose. Breathing in, bring yourself back to centre and repeat on the other side.
4.Relax one hand onto the chair beside you. As you take your next breath in, lift the opposite arm up and over. Feel the lovely stretch through the whole side of your body. Relax your elbow, your shoulder and your jaw. Find a comfortable place for your head and your neck. Close your eyes and take 5 gentle breaths. Breathing out bring yourself back to centre. Breathing in, do the other side.
5. Big breath in lift your arms overhead. As you breathe out fold over your legs. Any amount. If you fold all the way over feel free to give your legs a hug, otherwise just hang out where ever you are, maybe holding onto opposite elbows. Let your head and neck feel heavy and feel the lovely release through the back of the neck and the spine. Take 5 or 10 big breaths here. Sighing out anything you need to let go of. When you're ready, come up slowly and sit for a moment or two.
6. Bring your hands together in front of your chest like a prayer pose. Take a big breath in and as your breath out twist to one side. Gently press into your palms as you rest the bottom elbow on your thigh (you can always pop a cushion between thigh and elbow if you like) and feel the opposite elbow pulling up towards the sky. Feel the lovely release in the shoulders and opening across the chest. Close your eyes and hold for 5 gentle breaths. Breathing in, bring yourself back to centre, and then repeat on the other side.
7. Sitting on the edge of your chair, stretch your legs out in front of you (if you feel extra stiff today, pop your heels up on a little stool or a couple of books). Big breath in raise your arms up and as your breathe out gently folding over your legs. A gentle bend in the knees is fine if you need, and take hold of anywhere you can reach, your knees, shins or toes. Let your head and neck be heavy and breathe for 5 or 10 breaths here. Use those exhales to let go of any stress or strain and feel the lovely opening of the whole back of your body.
8. Standing up, rest the back of your thigh over your seat and put a bend in the front knee. Back leg reaching back with foot turned slightly in. Open the arms to chest height and feel the gentle pull of each hand away from the body. Look towards your front middle finger. Breath here for 5 breaths and then swap sides.
9. Standing to the front side of your chair, step your feet wide with both feet pointing in the same direction. Take a big breath in and as you breath out twist your upper body towards your chair, resting your elbow on the seat. Take another big breath in and raise the other arm up towards the sky and as you breath out bring the back of the hand to rest on your lower back (or even just on your hip). A lovely opening twist for the whole body. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
10. Bonus pose to really set you up for a magnificent rest of your day. (Please note, if you have any shoulder pain skip this and take 10b below). Come to lie down on the floor with your head towards the base of your chair. Take a big breath in and as your breathe out lift your legs up (you can support your lower back with your hands and feel free to keep a bend in the knees). Stay here or begin to straighten your legs and rest them on the chair behind you. If it feels nice, release the hands and bring your fingers to interlock together. Keep the neck nice and still. Close your eyes and hold for 5-15 breaths. When you're ready to come out, bend the knees, bring the hands back to your lower back, and come out slowly. Lie on the floor, legs and arms relaxed, for as long as you like. When you're ready come back slowly and enjoy the rest of your day!
10b. Option for delicate necks. Lie down on the floor with your bottom towards the base of your chair (your legs will be bent at this point!). Then bring the backs of your calves to rest on the seat of your chair. Let your arms relax beside your body, palms facing up, or gently resting on your belly. Close your eyes and hold for 5-15 breaths. When you're ready to come out, do so slowly. Roll over onto one side and stay for as long as you like. When you're ready come back slowly and enjoy the rest of your day!
Did you enjoy that? Why not try our Live Online Yoga classes, bringing you accessible yoga for all, from our living room to yours? Sign up now for 15 days of free unlimited classes.
Carrie is a co-founder of The Frog Project, yoga teacher, teacher trainer, and full time stay at home mum to two smalls. When she's not playing with the kids or practicing yoga, you'll likely find her in the middle of her veg patch, trowel in hand and covered in mud. She loves the outdoors, and would camp every night given the chance. She and her partner in crime, Martin, set up The Frog Project with the aim of bringing classical yoga to all, and deliver live online classes with a group of dedicated teachers, to students of all experiences, ages, shapes, sizes, jobs, lives, you name it, from all around the world. Join them now and get 15 days of free unlimited classes. It's just yoga.