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  • Cristina Nikolov

What? You can practise yoga in a chair?

If we had a penny for every time we have heard that phrase, we would certainly be rather well off!

While the benefits of yoga are widely acknowledged, few people are aware that a yoga practice can take place off the mat, too. The accessibility of yoga has recently become an important topic of conversation and exploration within the yoga community. How do we bring yoga to those who might not enjoy or be able to practise on the mat? How do we create a practice that supports and empowers people whatever their physical ability may be?

Enter chair yoga!

In chair (or seated) yoga, traditional yoga poses are adapted to be performed either on, or with, the support of a chair. Just like mat-based yoga, the poses, breath and meditation practices are a gateway to increased flexibility, mobility, focus and relaxation. And just like mat-based yoga, it can be as physically challenging or gentle as the yogi wishes!

So, who is chair yoga for? Well, just about anyone! Chair yoga can be performed anywhere and does not require any equipment (other than a chair), which makes it easily accessible - even in a work space.

Chair yoga can be especially valuable to people who have mobility issues due to injury, disability, balance concerns or age-related difficulties. Most traditional yoga poses can be adapted to be performed seated or with the support of a chair.

For example, Warrior 1 pose can be performed by opening one knee to the side, and raising hands towards the sky. Extended side angle can be reached by starting in Warrior 1 pose, opening arms to for a Warrior 2 pose, and then lowering one elbow to the knee.

These supported poses offer all the physical and emotional benefits of yoga. Practising as part of a supportive and encouraging community can also help with isolation and loneliness.

Curious? Lumi Foundation offers several chair-based classes every week, both in person and online. We believe that yoga is for everyone, and chair yoga has become one of our favourite ways to connect with yogis, sharing breath, movement and a few laughs each week!

Anyone wishing to practise in a chair is welcome at any of our classes (the teacher will be able to offer alternatives for you), but if you are looking for a chair only practice, here is our chair-based yoga schedule:

Tuesday: 11 am - Old Oak Community Centre, 76 Braybrook Street, East Acton W12 0AP

Please email to book your spot

Thursday: 10 am - Old Oak Community Centre, 76 Braybrook Street, East Acton W12 0AP

Please email to book your spot

Friday: 3 pm - Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street Hammersmith W6 9BN

Friday: 11am - Livestream Please use this link to join in!

See you on the chair!

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