Low-Impact Exercise: Chair Yoga

A young woman does stretches while in a chair

Chair yoga is an excellent low-impact option for those that have mobility issues, are short on space, or just have a few moments to spare.

Looking for a gentle exercise routine that promotes well-being without the strain of high-impact activities? Chair yoga offers a fantastic solution!

Chair yoga is a unique form of yoga practice designed to be performed while seated or using a chair for support. This makes it an excellent option for individuals of all ages and abilities, including those with limited mobility or recovering from injuries.

Despite its low-impact nature, chair yoga boasts a range of impressive benefits for your physical and mental health. Regularly practicing chair yoga can:

  • Increase flexibility and range of motion - Gentle stretches and movements help improve joint mobility and loosen tight muscles.
  • Enhance balance and stability - Specific exercises target your core and lower body, promoting better balance and coordination.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety - Focusing on breathwork and mindful movements helps calm the mind and promote relaxation.
  • Improve circulation and blood flow - Chair yoga gently moves your body, promoting better blood flow.

Chair Yoga Routine

Whether you're a seasoned yogi or just starting out, these gentle poses will help you improve your range of motion, increase circulation, and reduce stress.

Ready to embark on a journey of mindful movement?  Let's begin!


Find your seat: Select a sturdy chair with a flat seat and backrest. Ensure your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle.

Warm-up (3-5 minutes)

Centering breath

Begin with a few rounds of deep breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose, feeling your belly expand. Exhale completely through your mouth, releasing any tension.

Gentle neck stretches

Slowly tilt your head to one side, hold for a few breaths, and repeat on the other. Perform this motion several times.

Shoulder rolls

Gently roll your shoulders forward and backward in circular motions, repeating several times in each direction.

Main Sequence (Perform each exercise 3-5 times per side)

Seated twists

Place one hand on the opposite knee and twist your torso gently towards that side, looking over your shoulder. Hold for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.

Seated forward fold

Slowly bend forward from your hips, reaching towards your feet or the floor. Feel the stretch in your back and hamstrings, hold for a few breaths, and then return to an upright position.

Seated side stretches

Raise one arm overhead and gently lean your body towards the opposite side, feeling a stretch along your side. Hold for a few breaths before switching sides.

Cool-down (5-10 minutes)

Relaxation and meditation

Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and allow any tension to melt away. Sit quietly for several minutes.


Gentle transition

Gently open your eyes and wiggle your fingers and toes. Take a moment to become aware of your surroundings before slowly moving your body as needed.

Here's a video to guide you through chair yoga routines designed specifically for small spaces: Gentle Chair Yoga for Beginners.

A young woman sits in lotus pose on her chair

Chair yoga has benefits that reach beyond physical health; it can help ease and relax your mind.

Enhance your Yoga Environment

Create a Serene Ambiance

Dim the lights, light candles or incense, or play soft, relaxing music to set a calming mood. This will help you focus on your breath and movements and deepen your yoga experience.


  • Listen to your body: Don't hesitate to modify poses as needed. If you experience pain, simply adjust the pose or take a break.
  • Focus on your breath: Breathe deeply and evenly throughout your practice. This will help you stay present in the moment and maximize the benefits of each pose.

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