Landmark Celebrates Social Workers
March is National Social Work Month.
Chair yoga is a great way to bring gentle movement into your day. By practicing chair yoga, you can improve your balance, flexibility and range of motion from the comfort of your home. Chair yoga uses slow, deep inhales and exhales, which can reduce stress and improve your mood.
Exercise is not without its risks and this or any other exercise program many result in injury. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult a medical professional.
To begin, all you need is a chair. In this sequence, we will connect to your breath and body, and take time for your mental health. If any of these poses cause pain, please back off. Although gentle chair yoga is safe for most, talk to your doctor or Landmark provider to learn if it is right for you.
Face the chair. Inhale as you lift your arms over your head, exhale as you bend forward and place the palms of your hands on the seat of the chair. Bend your knees if the back of your legs feel tight. Walk your feet back slightly and lift your hips up to the sky. Breathe here for five cycles of breath (five full inhales and exhales). To exit the pose, slowly walk your feet toward your chair, bend your knees and gently roll up your spine to a standing position.
Stand next to the back of the chair with the right side of your body closest to the chair. Place your right hand on the back of the chair. Stand on your right foot, spread through the toes as your ground down through all four corners of the foot. Turn your left foot outward and inhale as you place the heel at the ankle or bring the entire foot to the calf muscle. Engage your core and press the foot and standing leg into one another to stabilize yourself. Raise your arm to your hip or reach it over head. Breathe here for five cycles of breath. Return to standing and repeat on the opposite side.
Sit in the chair, roll your shoulders back and lengthen through the spine. Interlace your fingers and press your palms away from you. Inhale as you slowly raise your palms up toward the sky and exhale as you relax your shoulders away from your ears. If this grip causes any pain, hold onto a hand towel instead of interlacing your fingers. Breathe in this pose for five cycles of breath. To release, slowly lower your arms back to your lap.
Sit in the chair and grab the back corner of the seat with your left hand. Inhale as you lengthen through your spine and exhale as your place your right palm on the left knee. Twist toward the left side of the room, looking toward your left shoulder. Stay here for five cycles of breath. Return to center and repeat on the opposite side.
Stand next to the chair with the right side of your body closest to the chair. Plant your feet 3’ – 4’ apart. Turn your right foot so your toes point toward the chair and plant your left foot at a 45-degree angle. Inhale as your raise your arms up to shoulder height. Exhale as you reach your right arm to the back of the chair or the seat of the chair, depending on your range of motion. Reach your left hand up toward the sky as you stretch through the left side of your body. Stay here for five cycles of breath. Slowly rise to stand and repeat on the opposite side.