9 Great Ways to Tone and Stretch Using The Pune Yoga Chair

Making Yoga Gentler with Props Backless Yoga Chairs might look imposing and far too advanced for your average yoga student, but nothing could be further from the truth.  These chairs actually make poses easier and less intimidating by taking pressure off one area that might not bare it well like your arms or your belly and putting it somewhere like your butt or your back that takes the weight easily.  Plus it can be used for all sorts of fun chair yoga exercises.

      Before attempting these poses on your own it is a good idea to try them in a studio that supports the use of these props.  Most Iyengar studios and many others will be able to help you.

Number 1 is a Supported Wheel Pose.

Pune Yoga Chair Supported Wheel Pose
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The Supported Wheel shown at left above, may look complicated but it is really a much gentler version of traditional wheel, shown at right, which takes a lot of upper body strength to maintain for any length of time.

 The Pune Yoga Chair can make it possible for you to get the deep backward bending  stretch associated with wheel with much less discomfort.

      While this pose should only be done when you are fully warmed up, it is shown first here because it is a great example of a supported pose that takes advantage of the missing back and front support bar of this special chair.

Number 2 is the Supported Shoulderstand Pose.

BREEZE and Pune Chair supporting Shoulderstand
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Two things that bother many people about traditional shoulder stand shown at right above, is the extreme pressure on your neck and the arm and wrist strength needed to support your back.  You can easily see from the photo on the left that using a bheka BREEZE Rectangular cushion under ones shoulders and putting the small of ones back on the chair takes almost all weight off the neck and arms but still gives the tremendous benefits of the full inversion.

Number 3 is a supported Upsided Down Bow Pose.

Inverted bow pose
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For those who don't like the pressure on their belly's but still want to perform this posture using the Pune Yoga Chair is a great way to go.

Number 4 is Supported Plough.

Supported Plough Yoga chair
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For those whose feet don't reach the floor in plough pose, using the Pune Yoga Chair offers a comfortable alternative.  Using blankets under the shoulders will further take pressure off the spine and neck but we did not have any blankets handy when we did this photo shoot.

Number 5 is the Seated Half Moon Pose.

yoga chair
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While less strenuous than the full Standing Half Moon it is a great way to flex the spine and open the rib cage.  This variation with the lower arm firmly resting on the chair stabilizes the lower torso and deepens the stretch in the upper body.

Number 6 is a Side Supported Half Moon Pose.

Suspended Half Moon on Iyengar Chair
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This is a wonderful way to safely and deeply relax the lower back and legs which are normally engaged in Standing Half Moon.  For people with lower back issues this one stretch can make a huge difference.

Number 7 Chair Assisted Spinal Twist.

Backless chair side twist
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When you think of yoga poses which twist you up like a pretzel you probably think of lotus pose and spinal twist poses. Using the Pune Yoga Chair makes it easy to get a satisfying twist to the spine and a soothing massage to all your internal organs without getting completely knotted up!

Number 8 is another version of the Seated Half Moon Pose.

Iyengar yoga Chair Side bend
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In this variation our Selena our model is taking full advantage of the buoyancy of the BREEZE Inflatable Cushion she is seated on.  By shifting her hips maximally she is shifting the stretch to her lower and middle back which for many people is where it is most needed.

Number 9 is the Pharaoh Pose.

Image via yogalifestyle.com Image via studyblue.com

This is a traditional meditation pose and a lovely way to end a routine.  Breathing deeply and just exploring the changes in your body and how you are feeling in the present moment.  The BREEZE Inflatable Cushion adds comfort and height to the Pune Yoga Chair.

These 9 poses are among the hundreds of ways that a Pune Yoga Chair can be used.  For further information on practice on a Yoga Chair there is no better source than Carrie Orwenko http://www.carrieowerko.com/

For more information about the the Pune Yoga Chair and to purchase go to www.yogalifestyle.com http://yogalifestyle.com/GEBacklessIyengarPuneYogaChair.htm

Special thanks for Selena Reynolds our model who brought grace, warnth and a deep understanding of yoga to our photoshoot and to Barbara Boris Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and proprietor of the Woodstock Yoga Center, 6 Deming Street, Woodstock, NY, for the use of her studio.