5 Seated Yoga Poses
Performing seated yoga poses can not only foster relaxation throughout the body, but they can also foster alignment, massage your internal organs and relieve low back pain.
Perform these 5 seated yoga poses. For added “grounding,” take these poses outside on the grassy earth.
- Sit comfortably on your mat with your legs stretched in front of you and your hands to your sides.
- Bend the knees and lift the legs, bringing the shins parallel to the floor. Begin to recline while balancing on your sit bones.
- Bring the hands to either side of the legs, reaching for the heels.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths. For more of a challenge, straighten the legs.
Sit on the floor or ground with your legs crossed and back straight. Rest the wrists on your knees. Close the eyes and breathe deeply.
Seated forward bend
- Sit tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Take a deep breath in, then exhale as you bend forward from the hips.
- Reach for your knees, shins, or toes.
- Aim to press your chest against your thighs. Relax the muscles in your head and neck.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
- Kneel on your mat. If needed for the calves and thighs, use a folded blanket or bolster for support. Touch your knees together then slide your feet apart. Press the tops of the feet on the floor. Breathe easily.
- Exhale and sit back halfway. Use your thumbs to draw the skin and flesh of the calf muscles long. Slowly sit down between your feet.
- Aim to rest your buttocks comfortably on the floor. Sit on a block if your sit bones do not reach the floor. Allow a thumb’s-width space between the inner heels and the outer hips. Press your thigh bones into the floor with your palms. Then lay your hands gently in your lap, palms up or down.
- Sit up with your spine long and straight. Press your shoulder blades back and down and lift your chest. Press the shoulders down and away from the ears. Anchor the tailbone into the floor.
- Hold the pose from 30 seconds to one minute. Gradually extend your stay up to 5 minutes. To come out of the pose, press your hands against the floor and lift your buttocks up off of your heels. Cross your ankles underneath your buttocks, sit back onto the floor, then stretch your legs out in front of you. Shake the legs and knees up and down a few times on the floor.
Wide-angle Seated Forward bend
- Stand with the legs far apart. Align the heels and turn the toes slightly inward. Place your hands on your hips.
- Take in a deep, cleansing breath, lifting the torso. On your exhale, fold forward at the hips. Press the palms of the hands into the floor in the middle of your legs. If you’re more flexible, bring the hands to your shins, ankles or feet. Get a deeper stretch by pulling on the ankles.
- Allow the head to dangle, aiming to place the crown of the head on the floor. You may reach the fingertips in between the legs, toward the back of the room.
- Remain in the pose for 5-10 breaths. On each exhalation, stretch and pull gently for a maximum stretch.
- To get out of the pose, bring the hands back to the hips and inhale, raising the torse back up to standing.