This article tells you about various types of sitting yoga poses and proper techniques to gain maximum health benefits in different groups of people.
There are various sitting yoga poses. There are multiple techniques to do these but starting with all these without appropriate knowledge that what poses are suitable for you according to your age group or health condition and to do these for how much time duration it may harm your health.
So before start learning about various yoga practice and techniques of these and about their benefits some points are really important to look upon to prevent you from any harm or injury:
- People with any spine injury or suffering from any specific spine condition should avoid sitting yoga poses.
- People who feel pain while doing these sitting yoga poses should also avoid doing these, and should consult a yoga expert or doctor before start doing these poses. Consulting an expert helps you understand your health condition better, and they will guide you that doing these poses for how much time duration will be suitable to your body.
There are multiple techniques to do various sitting yoga poses, such as either using the chair as a prop to do these poses or sitting on a yoga mat on the floor. Sitting yoga poses have a great impact on the mind, soul, and body. To know in detail about which technique and which sitting yoga poses are suitable for you, look upon the points below.
1.1 Sitting yoga poses for beginners, intermediates, and pregnant women
1. Seated Side bend (Parsva Sukhasana):
This one of the best yoga poses is very easy to start with for beginners.
- Start with an easy pose
- Place your right hand on the floor with your elbow slightly bent, reach your left arm up over your head, and lean to the right side. Repeat this process for both sides.
- Hold for 30 seconds and then relax.
Improves flexibility in the spine by expanding the abdominals, hips, thigh muscles, breathing capacity, and reducing stress and anxiety.
2. Seated Spinal Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana):
This is the best restorative yoga pose for beginners.
- Start with an easy pose
- Inhale, and when you exhale, place your left hand on the right knee and twist your torso to the right side, keep relaxed your neck and shoulders, soften your belly and lift the sternum to expand your torso.
- Repeat it on both sides and hold for 30 seconds and then relax.
It improves digestion, reduces lower back pain, improves flexibility by toning the belly, and helps in massaging the internal organs.
3. Bound Angle or Butterfly (Baddha Konasana):
This yoga pose is suitable for beginners and pregnant women.
- Sit in a relaxed position with back straight and hip bones on the ground.
- Then bring the soles of your feet together and hold your feet with your hands and place your elbows opposite to your inner thighs.
- Keeping your back straight, inhale and exhale and start flapping your both legs like butterfly wings, feel the stretch in the thighs.
- Hold it for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
It helps in reducing menstruation pain and menopause symptoms, reduces lower back pain and hip pain, and helps pregnant women in smooth delivery, improves athletics performance by improving leg and hip movement.
4. Wide-legged Seated forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana):
This is suitable for intermediates.
- Sit in a position with legs extended in front (like Dandasana).
- Then gradually open both legs wide in 180 degrees.
- Draw your muscles of thighs up, look up, raise your chest and expand your spine.
- Breathe out and expand forwards from the pelvis. Keep the length in your spine so as you move your hands forward between your legs.
- Reach towards your feet with the top of your head.
- Try to sink a little deeper with each exhalation.
- Hold it for 30 seconds to 1 minute according to your comfortability.
- Breath in, releasing your hands, and slowly come up.
- Then comes back in the dandasana position again.
It helps in reducing fat from the thigh area, reduces back pain, stress, and anxiety, and improves digestion, functions of kidneys and livers, body posture.
5. Half lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana):
This is suitable for beginners.
- From the dandasana position, bend your right knee and bring the sole of the right foot to the floor on the outside of the left thigh.
- Bend your left knee and fold your left foot near your right hip.
- Breathe in and guide your left arm straight up close near your left ear.
- Breathe out and guide your torso to the right, guide your left elbow outside of your right knee and right palm on the floor just behind your sit bones.
- Look to your right shoulder but don’t put strains on your neck; the turn should come from your belly. On each breathe-in, keep your spine straight, and on each breathe-out, grow your turn a little.
- Make sure that the sole of your right foot is firmly placed on the floor.
- Release the legs and follow the above steps to another side.
It helps in constipation, improves spinal mobility.
6. Cat/Cow (Chakravakasana):
This kind of sitting pose has various health benefits for beginners and pregnant women.
- Start with the position, such as your hands and knees on the floor aligned with shoulders and hips, respectively. Start with a neutral spine posture with your back in the flat position and your abs involved. Take a deep inhale.
- On breathe out round your spine upward towards the roof and imagine that you are drawing up belly button towards your spine by involving your abs in real. This is your cat-like posture.
- On breathing in, bridge your back by letting your belly loose and relax.
- Raise your head and tailbone towards the sky without putting extra pressure on your neck. This is a cow-like posture.
- Continue moving back and forth from cat to cow position and vice versa and keep doing breathe in for cow pose and breathe out for cat pose.
- Do this according to your body capacity
- Do not put extra strain on your body.
Massages and strengths the belly organs, Improves flexibility in hips, abdomen, and back area, reduces menstrual pain.
7. Lotus (Padmasana):
It is beneficial for pregnant women, beginners and a very easy and efficient pose that can be done before and during meditation and pranayama.
- Begin with an easy pose, and make sure your back should be straight.
- Then slowly, try to put your right leg to the left thigh and left leg to the right thigh such that the sole of your both feet face the roof and heels are close to your abdomen.
- Put your hands in a mudra position on your knees.
- Don’t put extra strain on your leg or thigh while doing these.
- Do these with a gentle deep breath in and breathe out.
It Relaxes the mind, helps the pregnant woman during the birth of a child, and helps maintain the blood pressure of the body and menstrual discomfort.
8. Staff (Dandasana):
Staff pose is very beneficial for beginners.
- Sit on a yoga mat with your back and neck straight and both legs extended in front of you.
- Keep your legs together such that feet touch each other gently.
- Put both of your arms on the floor close to your hips and fingers pointing to the toes.
- Remember, your arms should be straight to provide firm support to your spine.
- Stretch your toes towards you and, along with it, strongly press your heels and thighs into the ground.
- Involve your leg muscles to fix your legs in the ground.
- To expand your back, press your palms towards the floor.
- Raise the spine to the right from the pelvis to your crown.
- To expand your collar bones, raise your chest and pull back your shoulders slightly.
- Do gentle breathing and keep a straight look. Do not put extra strain on the body.
Improves body posture, prevents back-related diseases, relaxes the mind, extremely beneficial for sciatica and asthma patients.
9. Camel (Ustrasana):
These kinds of sitting yoga poses are beneficial for intermediate persons in yoga.
- Start with kneeling upright with the space in your knees and hips.
- Revolve your thighs inside and force your feet to tops and shins on the floor. Don’t compress your hips.
- Relax hands on the back of your pelvis with fingers pointing to the ground.
- Broaden the back of your pelvis and expand your tailbone to the ground.
- Incline backward with the little push of your chin to the chest. As a beginner, you can hold on to this position. If you feel comfortable in this position, then you can carry this pose deeper.
- Incline back and hold your heels with your hands. Your palms should relax on heels with fingers pointing to the toes and thumbs gripping the outward area of your feet.
- Hold your thighs 90 degrees to the ground with your hips right on your knees. If you feel difficulty holding your heels, then push your toes to raise your heels.
- Retaining lower spine long, raise through your pelvis. Without pressing shoulder blades, rotate your arms in the outward direction. Without putting pressure on your neck, hold your head in a neutral position.
- Hold this pose according to your comfortability for 30-60 seconds.
- To come back to normal position, carry your hands to front hips, breathe in and raise your torso by pushing your buttocks to the ground. Bring up your head in the end. Relax in corpse pose (savasana) or child pose (Balasana).
Improves posture, improves respiration due to chest opening and digestion, reduces thigh fats, and reduces lower back pain.
10. Cow Face (Gomukhasana):
One of the best-seated yoga poses, the cow face position is suitable for beginners and intermediates. You should practice this on an empty stomach either firstly in the morning or after 10-12 hours of your meals.
- Start with Dandasana with your back straight and legs extended in front of you.
- Fold your left leg softly and put it down under your right hip.
- Bend your right leg and put it on your left thigh.
- Put your knees together as they pile up on one another.
- Softly bend your left arm and put it behind the back.
- Carry your right arm over your right shoulder and extend it until it reaches your left hand. With consistent practice, you can do it. Now hold straight your torso, expand your chest and lean a little bit.
- Do deep breathing and hold in this pose until you feel comfortable.
Make your back more flexible, helps sciatica and diabetes patients, improves flexibility, reduces stress and anxiety.
11. Scale (Tolasana):
This pose is suitable for both beginners and intermediate persons.
- Begin with a lotus pose and put your arms on the ground beside your buttocks. Breathe out, press your hands against the ground, shrink the abdominal muscles, and raise your legs and hips against the ground.
- Holds in this position for 10-12 seconds, then on breathe-out, put your legs and hips on the ground. Now change the legs and do it.
It helps ton your abdominal muscles, helps strengthen your hands and upper shoulder muscles, reduces stress, and creates awareness in the body.
12. Seated head to the knee (Janu Sirsasana):
It is suitable for beginners.
- Begin with the easy pose, extend your right leg in front of you, put your left foot’s bottom opposite to your right thigh, stretch your right leg in a square position to your buttocks to the wall in your front.
- While breathing in, raise your arms and reach to your waist by extending the spine.
- Hold the stretch when you breathe out in a forwarding direction.
- Fold your right knee to the extent to interweave your fingers around the foot and to put your head opposite your knee.
- Make the posture by pinning your head down to your knee. Skid the right heel far from you, extending the right leg. Press the head to the knee while extending the leg according to your comfortability. Pin your heel away for an intense stretch in the leg and bring your toes towards your head.
- Relax your shoulders, face, and neck. Your shoulders should be parallel to the ground.
- Use your arms to the extent to hold your head, touching your knees.
- Breathe up to 3-6 breaths. To release the posture, take a breath in and put your arms up over your head, and breathe out to put your arms on the ground. Follow the same steps for other sides.
It relaxes the mind, energizes the endocrine, reproductive, nervous, and urinary systems.
1.2 Sitting yoga poses for Pranayama and Meditation
1. Easy (Sukhasana):
Easy pose is one of the basic seated yoga postures. It is a common pose for pranayama and meditation and beneficial for those also whose buttocks are stiff.
- Sit with your back straight and legs extended in front of you.
- Fold the left leg, put it under the right thigh, fold your right leg, and put it under the left thigh.
- Relax the outer side of your feet on the ground. Adjust your body according to your comfortability.
- Without putting extra strain, straighten your spine, neck, and head.
- Put your palms on your thighs or knees. Hold your shoulder erect and your elbows slightly fold.
- Do relaxed and deep breathing, close your eyes, and relax your body.
- Practice this pose according to your comfortability.
- Practice this pose twice by changing the leg position.
Improves flexibility, increases physical and mental balance, improves concentration.
2. Hero (Virasana):
It is one of the oldest poses for meditation and pranayama.
- Start with dandasana with the legs extending in front of you.
- Then fold both the knees and take your feet to the back under the hips.
- Then slowly try to part the feet away and sit between your feet with buttocks on the ground and your toes pointing towards the roof, with your knees closer and back straight.
- Relax your arms on the thighs.
- Do it for a few seconds according to your comfort level.
Improves digestion, eases menopause symptoms, reduces swelling in legs during pregnancy, helps in high blood pressure and asthma symptoms.
3. Accomplished (Siddhasana):
This pose is suitable for pranayama and meditation and beginners and intermediates.
- Begin with a dandasana position with legs extended in front of you. Fold the right leg and put the heel under the perineum. Perineum must be placed on top of your right heel and put the right foot sole opposite to the inner area of the left thigh.
- Fold the left leg and put the left ankle on the right one. Now put your left heel above your genitals, so genitals are seated between the right and left heels.
- Put left toe between the left shin and thigh and right toe between the right shin and thigh.
- Adjust your knees according to your comfort level and ensure that your knees touch the ground.
- Close your eyes and put your hands on your knees, and do gentle breathing in and breathe out.
Improves flexibility in the lower part of the spine, helps to relax the nervous system and whole body.
4. Sitting on the heels (Vajrasana):
It is suitable for beginners as well as useful for pranayama and meditation.
- Begin with dandasana with your legs extends in front of you and back and neck straight.
- Then fold both the knees and take your feet to the back under the hips such that the soles of your feet face the roof.
- Now slowly, try to join the toes of your feet and heels a little apart and rest your buttocks on the heels of your feet.
- Sit with a straight back, straight look, and spine erect.
- Sit for some seconds according to your comfort level.
Improves digestion, helps in constipation, helps treat urinary problems, reduces obesity and menstrual cramps, relieves back pain.
Lotus pose is also suitable for pranayama and meditation, which we discussed above in section 1.1. And you can refer to this pose from there.
1.3 Sitting yoga poses for senior citizens
Chair yoga poses are the best suitable sitting yoga poses for senior citizens who cannot sit on the floor due to spine issues or other health issues. So by sitting on the chair, they can perform various poses with ease which boosts their bone health and spine problems. Also lower the risk of certain diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, stroke and boosts brain health in senior citizens.
So now we will be going to look at some of the best chair yoga poses for seniors. But before starting with these sitting yoga poses, you should warm up to avoid any harm or injury to your body.
Some warm-up exercises are:
- Sitting on the chair with your back straight and walking with your legs slowly for some seconds.
- Rotate your arms clockwise and in an anticlockwise direction, then after some rotations, rotate your wrists slowly.
- Try to rotate your neck also slowly in up-down, right-left, and in a circular motion for some seconds.
Now, after doing some above warm-ups, you are ready to do chair-sitting yoga poses.
1. Seated spinal twist:
- Sit on the chair with your back straight, chin straight, and also gaze straight.
- Gently twist your spine towards the right.
- While breathing in, expand your spine and twist on each breath out; follow this for 4-5 breaths.
- Then relax for some seconds and repeat the above steps in the left direction.
2. Overhead stretch:
- Sit on the chair with your back and gaze straight, now interlace fingers of your hands and gently take your hands above your head and relax the back of your hands on the head.
- Don’t put extra strain on your hands or back; slowly and steadily stretch your hands over your head towards the sky with arms beside your ears and palms pointing towards the roof.
- Do this for some seconds and then release the pose by slowly bringing back your hands to thighs and freeing the interlace fingers. Then do some gentle, deep breaths.
- Repeat the above steps for some rounds.
3. Heal raises:
- Sit on the chair with your spine and look straight and take deep breaths for some seconds.
- Then try to raise your heels slowly and gently above the floor, hold in this position for some seconds, and relax your heels on the floor.
- Repeat the above steps for some rounds.
4. Seated side bend:
- Sit on the chair, lengthening your spine and straight gaze.
- Then take your right hand above your head, with your right arm beside your right ear and right palm and fingers of your right hand pointing towards the sky, relax left hand on the chair.
- Then slowly, try to press your right arm towards your right ear and bend gently towards the left. Hold here in this position for some seconds.
- Then release the pose by coming to a normal pose with the back straight and taking your hands down and doing some deep breathing then repeat the above steps on another side.
We see so many health benefits of sitting yoga poses in this article for different age groups of people, so try practicing these poses regularly for some time for enormous health benefits. Sitting yoga poses can be done easily without any strenuous efforts. So hurry up and transform your health by starting doing these sitting yoga poses.
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