These chair yoga poses will help loosen up your joints and muscles while focusing on the areas you as a quilter need the most.
If you often get lost in a sewing project, then I am sure you are familiar with your back, shoulders, spine, and other joints are screaming at you to stretch! You are not alone! I often find myself forgetting to take breaks for stretching and movement.
I decided to lead this 15-minute yoga sequence specifically as my gift to you! This sequence can be done entirely from the comfort of your chair, hence the name “chair yoga”! Watch the full video here:
I also have a breakdown of the poses here, as you might not have a 15-minute block of time to follow along on the video:
Seated Chair Yoga Poses
While the video is made to help guide you through a whole chair yoga sequence, I understand that dedicating a whole 15 minute practice might be difficult. If you’d rather take the poses at your own pace, here are some of my favorites! You can do all of these from the comfort of your sewing chair, or you can do them standing as they are mostly simple modifications of “normal” yoga poses. To see a demonstration of each pose, be sure to watch the video 🙂
Start with the Breath
Before I even begin movement, I like to take a few moments to center myself and observe my breathing. I might also take a few deeper-than-normal breaths too while I’m at it and notice how it makes me feel.
Loosen up the Spine
Some of my personal favorite movements to wake up my spine are large rib cage circles/barrel rolls, or the Cat and Cow poses.
Shoulder Movement and Stretching
Shoulder shrugs in conjunction with your breath can be a good quick way to release some tension and bring some blood flow into some vital joints for quilting. I also find doing goal post arms (also called Half Angel or Goddess Arms) can feel really good to me as I stretch out the front side of my body, open my heart, and draw my shoulders down my back.
Side Bends for Chair Yoga
I personally have noticed that while I am sewing, most of my movement is forward and backward, so pausing for a bit to do some side bends can help open up and create more space in my body. See the full video for a couple options of what side bends can look like for you.
Wrist and Forearm Stretches
These stretches can easily be overlooked, but as you’re likely using the joints in your wrists quite often with cutting and sewing, take a moment today to give them a little love!
Seated Sun Salutations
Syncing movement with breath is one key thing yogis might focus on quite a bit. The traditional Sun Salutation is one great way to breath while moving, but when you aren’t up for a full yoga flow the seated sun salutation is a welcome option. The main focus is to inhale while your body expands and exhale while bringing back to center. Try it out and see if you might consider throwing a couple Sun Salutations in while you’re in between sections of sewing whatever project you are working on.
Twists in Your Chair
I love a good twist to open up my sides and bring my focus into those hard-to-find tiny muscles all throughout my back. I recommend doing twists within movement of breath for a more energizing experience, or holding a twist position for a more restorative posture!
Hips Matter too, especially if you sit a lot!
An easy way that I like to open my hips without having to even leave my chair is called “figure four” pose. With your right foot firmly planted into the ground, cross your left leg over making your shin parallel to the ground and your left ankle on top of your right knee. Gently and slowly, with a straight spine, lean your upper body forward to fold over your leg. On your inhales, straighten your body upward and on the exhales lean a bit deeper. Then don’t forget to switch sides, too!
Closing Out your Practice
Before rushing off to finish your quilt or feed your kids or whatever else your day might demand of you, take a moment to thank yourself for taking the time for you. Embrace one or two more deep breaths and sigh them out loud, releasing any tension that might still be lingering.
Do you have any other favorite yoga poses that help improve your quilting? Share them in the comments! I’d love to hear what you do to take care of your body!
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