Chair Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 11

Warrior Chair Practice

20 min - Practice


Karen, with the help of Colette and Alice, guides us in an active warrior flow practice with the support of a chair. We find strength and stability in the legs and core.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair

About This Video


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Hi, everybody. Welcome back. Namaste. Today, we're going to have a pretty active practice and we're going to introduce warrior one and two, also a little chair pose and a squat. I am so grateful today to have my beautiful friends here. Here to my right, I have Colette and to my left, Alice. So we're going to get started and we're going to stand in mountain pose. So we're finding the feet nice and parallel with each other, everything directly under the hips there, nice tall spine, receive the inhale as you extend through the side body, front and back body extending and shoulders releasing. Just take a moment here to find the body, settle in, feel some grounding under the feet and a deep extension all the way up and out through the crown of the head. Yeah, very nice. So we're going to start off with a quarter sun salute. So we'll bring the hands to the heart and take a deep exhale here as we release into the earth. We're going to inhale at the heart and exhale, release to the earth and inhale and rise, bend through the knees and extend fully up to the sun and exhale come deeply to the heart. One more just like that. Inhale here, nice and meditative letting the breath move you and the movement be along with the breath. Exhale here to the heart. Beautiful. We're going to add on here and move to a half sun salutation. I'm going to turn to the chair, inhaling here at the heart, exhaling, releasing to the earth. Inhale, rise, stretch up and beyond the fingers as you hinge at the hips and exhale moving back into an extension of a chair dog. And just we're going to wiggle here into our chair dog allowing for the abdominals to support the spine. Knees can be bent or straight, whatever works well for you. And the armpits are towards the floor. Take two breaths here, inhaling and exhaling just finding a lovely, lovely extension from the crown to the sacrum. When you're ready, inhale, look at the top of the chair and walk halfway. Inhale, rise, exhale bring the hands to the heart. Beautiful. And we're going to add on a warrior one here to our half sun salutation. Inhale here at the heart. Exhale, release to the earth, rising to the sun. And exhale, hinge at the hips and work your way back towards your down dog, your chair dog. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. Nice extension here. And take a breath here as you feel the feet, feel the heels of the hands. And then we're going to take an inhale here and as we inhale here, we're picking up the right foot and we're taking the right toes underneath the back of the chair. And you might have to take a moment to find your stance and it's so worthwhile. We're going to bend through the right knee and the chair is here for us to hold onto and the left back leg is at a 45 degree angle, what the foot is. And we're just pressing through the whole back leg, bending through the right knee, one or two hands on the chair. Or if it's available to you and you'd like to work with the balance, the hands can come to the heart. Again, one or two hands looking directly in front and finding the weight evenly between both feet. Take a breath here, inhale, exhale everything. And next time you inhale, find the hands to the chair, come up on the tippy toes at the back, press through the heels of the hands and come back again into your chair dog, releasing the heels to the floor, finding that stretch one more time. Inhale, pick up the left leg and land the left foot underneath the chair. We're coming to the second side and the right heel is down, the left knee is bent and we're just taking a moment to feel steady in our warrior one. Hands on the chair one or two, maybe they're at the heart and some of us might even want to allow the arms to come up if you feel steady in the feet. It doesn't matter where you are, what I'd like you to do is inhale tall, pulling the abdominals back and up and pressing down through the feet, nice bend in the front knee directly over the ankle and when you're ready, hands come to the heart and then the heels of the hands to the chair, come up on the back tippy toes, press into the heels of the hands and come on back to the tippy toes, down with the heels, wiggle into your dog. Take two full breaths here and restore the breath, restore the movement, the energy, release everything, hold onto nothing and then inhale, walk halfway, inhale, rise, exhale to the heart, beautiful. So we're going to add on, we're going to come to a warrior two this time. So inhale here at the heart, exhale, release to the earth, inhale, rise, extend beyond the fingers as you exhale, swan dive, hinge at the hips and come on back into your chair dog. Taking a breath here, take two full breaths as you find the length, find the side body and steady up with the concentration and also with the breath. When you're ready, inhale, pick up the right foot and send those right toes underneath the chair and this time we're going to pivot, so we're turning to the left and letting the back foot land. So the back foot is at the short end of the mat, you're going to have a look at the front heel and line it up with the arch or line it up with the back heel and then we're going to inhale and allow the arms to come out, beautiful and they're extended from the shoulders and if you'd like to have one hand on the chair, please feel free to do that, yes, beautiful.

Inhaling allowing for the abdominals to feel nice and supporting, they're supporting the spine and maybe just bend through the elbows here, just release through the shoulders, yes and then extend fully out through the arms. Let's have a look over the fingers of the bent knee, so that's the right fingers, take a moment, breathe, really enjoy this evenness of weight between the back leg and foot and the front leg and foot, beautiful. When you're ready, release the hand to the chair, then we're just going to pivot and turn around towards the chair, back on those tippy toes in the back, press through the heels of the hand, come on down with the heels into your chair dog, one or two breaths here just steadying everything up again, taking the inhale and bringing the left foot forward this time, I'm going to have my back to you as I rotate the right foot down, left knee is bent, we're going to bring up the right arm, beautiful, maybe the left as well and we're finding the left knee deeply bent, the chair is there as a support on the shin if you'd even like and we're just going to exhale, bend through the elbows and just squeeze the back a little bit and then inhale, extend out through the fingers and looking over the left fingers for a moment here or two and find the weight even in both feet, take a super beautiful breath and enjoy it and then release the left hand, pivot back to the front of the chair, up on those tippy toes, press through the heels of the hand, come on back down into your chair dog, from here I'd like for you to take four full breaths, yes and just enjoy the breath moving evenly, beautiful, steady things up, very nice and when you're ready nice inhale, look towards the chair, walk halfway, inhale rise, stretch beyond the fingers, exhale come on to the heart, beautiful, take a moment here in your mountain pose, release the fingers to the floor, beautiful, let's externally rotate the shoulders and send the fingers towards the floor, inhale tall through the spine, exhale and take two full breaths here in your mountain pose, feel your feet, exhale deeply down beyond the feet and inhale nice and tall up through that whole central channel and up and out from the crown of the head, beautiful, soft jaw, soft gaze and again just steering your awareness towards the grounding of the exhale and the inspiration of the inhale, beautiful, from here we're going to go into a chair pose, it's known as utkatasana in Sanskrit and we're going to allow for us to start in mountain one last time and our hands are going to be by our side for a moment, we're going to inhale and bring the arms all the way up, so this is a nice extension through the side body on the inhale, just working your way upwards and we're going to hinge at the hips on the exhale, so we're going to bend through the knees, hinge at the hips, nice flat back, let's do that, exhale come on back, the abdominals are supporting the spine, the chest is still up, beautiful and we're bringing the hips back, falling into the heels of the feet, eyes are up, looking forward and when you're ready, inhale, lift all the way up, bring the hands together as you stretch beyond the fingers, exhale come on down, feel your feet, feel height in the spine, we'll do that one more time, let's release the hands by our side, inhale lift the arms all the way up, beautiful extension through the side body, front body, back body, deepening through the feet, nice through the exhale, bend here, bend through the knees, hinge at the hips, beautiful steady utkatasana, steady chair pose and you can wiggle back in there if you can, just feel the weight back in the heels and take two full breaths here, a little sturdy, sturdy, sturdy breath, sturdy legs, inhale rise, stretch up beyond the fingers, let the hands touch, exhale come to the heart, and release the hands, take a moment here in mountain pose one more time, inhaling nice and tall, releasing the shoulders, exhale, take two beautiful breaths, restore, become even in breath and energy, find your left side, your right side, beautiful and then we're going to come into a wide leg stance, so we're still behind the chair, we're going to hold, we'll get a little close to the chair because we're going to squat down and we're going to have the feet at about 45 and as we descend with the buttocks and bent knee, the knees are going to go in the direction of the toes, so we always want that to happen, wherever your toes are going, if you're bending your knees your knees to go in the direction of the toes, okay so when you're ready inhale nice and tall and exhale we're just going to descend, keep the abdominals engaged and inhale rise, beautiful, keep that going, you're going to exhale as you go down and inhale as you rise, now you're really inside, you're really feeling the inside and outsides of the legs, all the way down to the feet, beautiful, one or two more like that, exhale as you come down and inhale as you rise, exhale as you go down and inhale as you rise, beautiful, so we're going to heel toe, come back to a mountain and take a couple of breaths there, just release the legs, nice and tall, exhale through the feet, beautiful, so we're going to do one more wide legged stance and come forward onto the seat of the chair, so we're actually going to turn the chair around so that the seat is facing our body, let's go ahead and do that, alright so we're facing the chair, the seat is directly in front of us, we're going to have that wide stance one more time, so we're going to open our feet nice and wide and we're going to have the hands be here on the hips or the waist body, just feel the inner and outer sides of the feet and feel the inner and outsides of the legs, so bring that energy up through the insides of the legs and down on the outsides of the legs and just feel that for a moment to stand directly upwards with this extension through the legs, you've got a wide leg here and we're going to hinge at the hips with a straight leg this time, so inhale nice and tall and as you exhale hinge the hips back, nice flat back as your body becomes parallel with the floor and then we're going to find the hands, the palms directly on the chair all the way under the shoulders, so let the arms be nice and straight, beautiful and just feel the feet for a moment here and just allow for a breath to flow evenly up and down in and out and we're going to stay here for two more breaths just like that, feel the weight in the feet and let the energy flow inside and outside, allow for the breath and the energy to become one and then when you're ready allow for the elbows if it's available, we're going to get a little lower still flat back, allow for the forearms to come to the chair, beautiful nice straight back just looking directly through the chair and take a moment, breathe deeply, so you have this lovely extension all the way from the sacrum to the cranium and it can feel really really nice and you're very much in the backs of the legs but also on the inner and outside so everything is really charging and vibrating it feels very very nice, from here we're going to rise again we're going to get the palms closer to the end of the chair there press through the palms extend through the arms and just feel that extension let the heart come forward a little bit beautiful and we're going to heel toe again so bend through the knees and heel toe, heel toe, heel toe, so the shoulders are still down we're just going to find our feet on an exhale and release the hands and just roll up, belly engaged, noodle arms pressing through the feet and the quads and we're going to bring the shoulders up to the ears and rotate the shoulders out send the fingers to the floor oh and just take a breath inhale tall and exhale release nice so we're now going to take a little cat cow seated so we're going to turn the seats around so you can see that so let's sit down and have the buttocks on the chair and a little bit of the back thigh the back quad and the feet are directly underneath the knees and a nice tall erect spine and the fingers either cup caked on top or flat whatever feels good for you and we're going to take a deep inhale just to get tall in the spine and then we're going to exhale we're going to roll everything out so bring the belly button to the spine let the chin tuck and roll a little bit back onto the sacrum there and then inhale come on forward just rolling and arching the spine yes exhale go ahead and come into cat and inhale come forward into your cow let's do that two more times and really enjoy the articulation of the vertebrae encourage the breath to go to all the places on the spine and keep connected with the feet and as you inhale lead with the heart and it'll give you a little bit extra arch there and exhale deep deep especially on this last one with the cat and then inhale come on forward to your nice neutral spine and let's slide back into the chair where we're nice and comfortable get ready for a little relaxation a seated shavasana so to speak and just allow the palms to be on the thighs work this time we're going to inhale nice and tall and as we exhale we're going to cup the hands so we're going to bring the backs of the palms now to the thighs yes inhale deeply nice and tall and exhale soft through the jaw soft through the shoulders soft through the belly mm-hmm beautiful we'll close our eyes here for two full deep breaths stay with the eyes closed and for you viewers at home I really encourage a beautiful shavasana for two to five minutes and it just really helps to integrate the physical practice and the emotional body the energetic body the physical body and it can feel very very calming and it's a beautiful way of everything settling down so that we can really feel our true nature let's go ahead and bring our hands to the heart in Anjali mudra namaste hands and we're going to end our practice with a round of arm let's exhale everything and inhale thank you for your practice namaste um shanti shanti shanti thank you


Jenny S
2 people like this.
I really enjoyed this chair yoga series...your sweet, gentle delivery made even the deceptively challenging poses a pleasure. I hope to see you back on Yoga Anytime to brighten our days 🕉❤️
Angela D
A truly excellent series for a 74 year old like me, recovering from knee replacement surgery.  Do not be deceived by the "chair" term.  The practice is energizing, a great way to begin the day.  Thank you, Karen Kelly for offering this series.
Roslyn G
I really enjoyed this practice and your clear instructions.

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