Ah...the chair. One of the most amazing, underappreciated props. Perhaps the most common statement I hear whenever I include the chair in my classes is, "This isn't chair yoga is it?" Certainly, the chair makes yoga accessible for people who wouldn't otherwise try yoga and just plain makes things more comfortable for everyone. But, the truth is, the chair can be used for more than just chair yoga!
You can use the chair to help you build strength, increase your range of movement, and sink into deeply restorative postures. Go forth and explore the many ways you can play with the chair in your yoga practice.
Seated Figure 4 Twist - Place your ankle just past your thigh, and turn your chest away from your bent leg. Stay for a few breaths, and if you'd like to explore more, play with sliding the forearm of the same side down towards the arch of your foot. Feel comfortable? Bring your hands into a prayer position. Pro Tip! Your palms should be in the center of your chest, not to one side or the other. If they are to one side, go back to the position in the middle picture.
Side Plank - (Pro Tip: Place a blanket across the chair for cushion) Frame the chair with your lower legs - a little above or below the knee based on what's comfortable for you. With your forearm on the ground lift your hips into a side plank position.
Challenge Pose - Play with the bottom leg's position, either bringing the knee in towards your chest, or sweeping the leg straight out in front of you
The bolster is a fun additional prop to play with here. If you don't have a bolster stack a few pillows and wrap them in a blanket (so they don't shift around too much on you)