Sanctuary Living by THE YOGA SCHOOL


Chair Yoga poses you can do at the office

By The Yoga School / November 1, 2020

Shed the sedentary lifestyle by sitting less and moving more.

Now that more people are returning to work at the office, it’s easy to find ourselves seated in a chair for extended periods of time. Besides staying hydrated and taking the occasional walk to the pantry, it’s important to build some movement into your day so that your body doesn’t build tension and sink into uncomfortable aches.

While it might not be convenient to roll out a yoga mat at work, your office chair can double up as a useful prop for your yoga practice. Chair yoga, comprising simple exercises adapted from familiar yoga poses, can help to strengthen and stretch your body right from the confines of your cubicle.

As you work through the poses below, don’t forget to keep your breath in mind and let it guide you as you move through each pose.

Sun salutations with twists

Great for: Times when your digestion feels sluggish or when your back or shoulders feel tight.

The pose targets: Lower and upper back, spine, abdominals, arms, hips, and waist.

Get into the pose:
1. Sit with your feet hip-width apart and grounded to the floor. Lengthen your spine. Your hips should sit towards the edge of the chair. Inhale, reach your arms overhead and press your palms together.
2. Upon the exhale, drop your arms down and around as you twist to your left. Rest your right hand on the left knee and bring your left arm behind you to rest on the top of the chair.
3. Inhale back to centre with arms up.
4. Exhale and twist to the right.
5. Perform this flow for 10 cycles.

Eagle arms

Great for: Times when you need some relief in your wrist and shoulders.

The pose targets: Your wrists, arms, and shoulders.

Get into the pose:
1. Sit with your feet hip-width apart and grounded to the floor. Lengthen your spine. Your hips should sit towards the edge of the chair. Spread your arms out to the sides, holding them at shoulder height. Keep your palms open to the ceiling.
2. Wrap the left arm under the right arm, double cross the forearms and press the palms together. If you find it too challenging to touch your palms, press the back of the hands instead.
3. Work on lifting your elbows while keeping your shoulders soft. Hold for 8 breaths. Release your arms.
4. Repeat the steps above with the opposite arm crossing.

Downward-facing dog

Great for: Releasing tension in the upper back, shoulders, head, neck, and legs.

The pose targets: Your entire body.

Get into the pose:
1. Stand facing the back of the chair and position (shoulder-width apart) your hands on the back of the chair.
2. Walk your feet back until your chest is parallel to the floor.
3. Engage your lower abdominals while lifting your ribs away from the floor.
4. Press down on the chair and think of lifting your hips up and away from your shoulders. If you need, you can try bending your knees to help pull yourself back even more. Engage the kneecaps and lengthen the legs. Hold this pose for 10 seconds. Release.
5. (Optional) For a deeper stretch, try this pose while placing your hands on the seat of the chair.


The Yoga School’s measures to safeguard your well-being on the mat. Download PDF