Chair yoga is a fun, accessible way to incorporate yoga into children’s lives. It’s ideal for kids living in wheelchairs, students with low muscle tone, teenagers home sick in bed, toddlers new to yoga and tweens with joint issues.
The best part about chair yoga is that it can be done anytime and anywhere, so you can easily introduce your students to the benefits of yoga – even in small spaces! Below are a few of our favorite chair yoga poses for kids and some ideas for using them in your classroom, homeschool or wherever you have a small space.
Tilt your body forward and twist to the right; rest your left elbow on your right knee, lengthening your left arm towards the ground. Look up and reach your right arm straight up to the sky, repeating on the other side.
Stand behind a chair with your fingertips touching the back of the chair and your arms straight. Lean your torso forward and hold the chair for balance, pushing your hips back; keeping a long neck and spine. Use your drishti (gaze) forward and soften your jaw and face, while bringing your breath deep into your belly.
Stretch out your legs and shoulders in pigeon pose, which is also perfect for sitting at a desk or watching TV! Hinge forward at your hips and bring your elbows to your knees or thighs, then drop your forehead down to rest in your hands. Keep a strong spine and breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth for 5-7 steady breaths.
Try counting down to fun by turning your chair into a Rocket Ship! Turning your chair into a Rocket Ship is another great way to build heat and core strength, especially in the upper thigh area.
Sit tall with your feet flat on the floor and your palms on your knees, then take your left arm up to the sky. Tilt your upper body to the right and place your right arm on top of your chair. Tighten your chest and open your left side, then repeat on the other side.
To get the most out of your chair yoga, be sure to adopt an attitude of curiosity and excitement. This will help you and your students feel more engaged in their practice and will make the chair yoga experience more enjoyable.
The best chair yoga poses for kids are the ones that encourage them to move their bodies and focus on their breathing. This can include simple poses like Child’s Pose, as well as more advanced postures that strengthen their core and increase their flexibility.
Start with a few simple poses for kids and then work your way up to more complex poses. Then, you can add in some calming meditations and resting poses to complete the session.
1. Twist Your Chair to the Right
Adapted from an original version in our Yoga for Kids series, this is a great pose to introduce children to chair yoga. With a firm chair, seated in the front of your chair, bend your upper body to the right, tucking your elbow to your knee as you do so. Once you’ve done this, come back to center.