Today we are back to one of the basic poses: Chair. This one can be killer on your quads and hamstrings. It burns so good. 🙂
The key to this one is to throw your hips back. Really sit into it. Your legs will support you and pushing out your hips will actually save your back this time around. I usually do one or two rounds of sun salutations before I throw in the variations, this one goes in first.
Do a couple rounds of the salutation first. This post has the whole she-bang if you need a reminder.
Stand, hands at heart center
Inhale arms up to mountain pose
exhale dive forward to forward fold
inhale to flat back
exhale to forward fold
Reach up and sit back to chair pose
add any variations
exhale back to forward fold
finish sun salute
Starting at the forward fold, you are going to reach your arms straight up along side your ears. During the movement, keep the tailbone tucked to protect the back, shoulders relaxed. As your torso comes up, bend the knees and sit into an invisible chair. Your torso will be leaning forward, reach the hips back, tailbone up, legs supporting the whole pose. Breath. You stay in this pose a minute or more.
Take inventory of your body. Are your knees leaning in? Straighten them, knees pointing straight forward. Are your feet parallel? Straighten them. Stick your hips out toward the back of the room. This will allow you to sit further into the pose. Core engaged? Tighten those abs. Relax the shoulders. And your mouth. (because I know that your tongue is sticking out while you concentrate.)
Send your breath to those areas, most likely your legs, that need the support. If you concentrate on breathing, you won't notice the burn so much.
You can do a couple variations here. One that is easy to implement is to lift one leg off the ground so you are balancing on the other. Switch to other foot.
To finish, exhale and straighten the legs while folding over to touch your toes, back into the forward fold. Inhale to flat back, exhale back to forward fold.
You can either inhale to mountain and will have done a varied half salute. Or you can continue through a full salute. Up to you.
As always, please comment with questions or concerns.