Our bodies all look, feel and react differently every single day and what might have worked yesterday/last week/last year just might not work today. That’s fine
In fact it is great
And seeing as yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies we should listen to how poses make us feel rather than how they look.
What can often happen in yoga is there is a shape we feel we should pop our bodies into regardless of how it feels. This Find Your Shape series is here to remind you and inspire you that you can often find a shape that may be different but should hopefully be right on that day.
Because if our practice can’t adapt then what is the point?
What are we looking to achieve in Chair Pose?
When I practice or teach Chair Pose I am looking to find some length in the torso and some strength in the thighs and central core of the body. Chair is a strong pose often building some heat in the body but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some other options for this pose in the body.
When we think about finding the strength in the pose it incorporates a diagonal angle of the thighs and a tucked ribcage to focus on lengthening and engaging the deep core muscles. These areas can be switched on in different ways and don’t necessarily have to be practiced in the most traditional shape.
All of these lovely options will also help you do just that…so Find Your Shape
Chair Pose – Hands in Prayer
From Tadasana bring the feet a little closer together than hip distance. The big toe joints can be touching if that is comfortable for you or keep a bit of a gap between the toes.
As you bend the knees, try to keep them in line, so they don’t drop in, this will help fire up the thighs. Try to keep the weight coming down into the heels.
Keeping the hands at the heart is a really nice option if lifting the arms brings tension into the shoulders or causes the ribs to flare.
Chair…on a chair
Make sure that your chair is sturdy and bring yourself to the edge of the seat. Bring the feet relatively close to the chair, so that the knees go a little further forwards. This should help the thighs begin to fire.
Bring the torso forwards enough that you feel the core switch on to support you. Hands can stay at the heart or as the chest tips forward let the arms lift.
Chair with arms raised
Bring yourself to chair pose, again bringing the weight into the heels, so that the toes can lift if they want to.
Keep the core engaged by tucking the rib cage in and lengthening the lower back. This can be harder when the arms lift so be mindful of this. Reach right into the fingertips and breathe.
From a knelt position begin to lift the bottom away from the heels until you feel the thighs switching on to support the body. Feet can be tucked if that’s more comfortable for you. Try to keep that diagonal line of the thighs.
Hands can be at the heart of can lift above the head. Like the other options, keep the lower back long with a tuck of the ribs to find that length through your spine.
That’s it for this edition of Find Your Shape, check out the link below to discover the whole series. If you tried any of these options or have a favourite please let me know in the comments below