Restorative Yoga Chair should be at a height for feet to be firmly on the ground; if your legs do not reach the floor, put them on a pillow or if your legs are too long, sit on a pillow.
Circle shoulders, keeping neck in line with body. Moving from the lower back. Five breaths
Straighten legs; dorsi flex and plantar flex feet five times, then circle feet at ankles breathe
Interlock fingers; raise straight arms to shoulder height. Bring arms down; change interlock, then raise straight arms to shoulder height. Bring arms down
Interlock fingers; inhale and raise straight arms over head; elbows straight, 3 breaths. Bring arms down; change interlock, then raise straight arms overhead. Sides of torso should feel the stretch. Breathing Bring arms down
Stand next to chair:
Feet wide; swing hips, rock on toes to heel and back.
One arm swing while holding to the chair if desired
Mountain pose I
Stand with feet either together or hip width apart (or if you need to, you can hold on the chair). Tuck your tail bone under and pull in your lower abdominal muscles. Using the chair for balance; rock from one side of your feet to the other, and then from heel to toe. This is to give you a sense of your balance.
Now pull your shoulder blades down and sternum up. Balance your head lightly on your neck; looking straight ahead. Breathe quietly.
Mountain pose II: Place chair in front of you; place one foot on the chair and concentrate on your sense of balance. Breathe 5 times; switch feet.
Grab the back of the chair on the back rest supports. Inhale; lean to the side, exhale come to the center, inhale lean to the side and exhale the center.
Cat Pose:There are several variations of this. I will demonstrate three and then you can choose which is best for you.
Sitting in the chair pose: Hold onto the sides of the chair, Inhale, concave your back and if your neck is ok, look up; then exhale and arch your back , tuck in your tummy, and look down. repeat
Placing your hands above your knees on your thighs; Inhale, slowly concave your back starting with the bum and vertebrae by vertebrae to your neck and head until both your head and your bum are higher than your back; now exhale and one vertebra at a time, starting again with your head or your bum, bring your back to neutral.
A more advanced pose is place your body a torso and arms length away from the chair and grasp the back of the chair with your hands. As you concave your back; extend your leg as you bring the head up and bend your knee and bring it in to your chest when back is neutral.
We will repeat the variation three times, remembering to breathe with the motions.
Warrior pose I: Turn to the right and sit right on the edge of the front of the chair. Extend and straighten your left leg, pushing hard with your heel. Tuck in your tail bone under and activate your lower abdominal muscles. These are the most important parts of the pose at the beginning. If you can, extend your arms overhead with palms facing each other, elbows straight, and slightly arch your upper back. If your neck is Ok, look up between your hands. It is important for the torso to be straight and not leaning forward or backward Come to the front and turn to the left and sit right on the edge of the front of the chair. Repeat the pose on the left side.
Right Angle pose I: Stand behind your chair. Position the second chair with the back towards you
Extend your arms to grasp the back of the chair and make a right angle with your body; 90 degrees between your legs and your torso. Bend your knees if your hamstrings are uncomfortable. Take 3 breaths Those that would like a gentler pose, simply sit in your chair and rest your wrists on the back of the chair in front of you and relax your back and neck.
Standing Twist:Stand facing the chair and place your right foot on the chair. Place your right hand on your right knee. Inhale, lengthen the spine, exhale, soften and twist. Twist with the torso, not the neck. Five breaths. Repeat the other side. Back to your right foot; now place your left hand on your right knee and inhale, lengthen, exhale and twist. Five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Using two chairs:
Child’s pose variation: Take your chair and place it in front of you with the back of the chair facing you more than an arm’s length away. Lean over and place your wrists on the top of the back of the chair and slowly lean over. Tuck your tummy in and relax your back and your neck. 3 Breaths
Cow Faced Pose: Use your belt to place around the back of the chair. Hold the belt with your right hand. Attempt to get the upper right arm perpendicular to the floor. Take the left hand and bring it behind you and grasp the back of the chair at the side. Breathe slowly for five breaths. Switch hands. Five breaths.
Concentrated relaxation: Settle yourself comfortably in your seat. Cup one hand in the other in your lap and close your eyes. We are going to go through our entire body to assess how its feeling now that we have completed our session: Start at your right toes and feel how they are; are they warm from yoga poses, feet, ankle, calf, knee, thigh. Now start with your left toes and gently bring your awareness up your leg to assess its condition. If some part of your body is uncomfortable; mentally think of sending your breath there and concentrate on it. This will usually relieve the discomfort in a short time. Start at the right hip, through the abdomen, the sides of the ribs, the chest, the right shoulder, down to the upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and right fingers. Go to the left hip, groin area, abdomen, left side of the ribs, upper chest, left shoulder, upper are, elbow, forearm, wrist, hand and left fingers. Bring your awareness to your neck, head, face, cheeks, eyes, eyebrows, tongue. Everything should be relaxed. Now bring your awareness inwards and breathe.