Seven Chair Yoga Essentials for Everyday Life

1. Improve Your Balance – Brush Your Teeth on One Leg

Stand by a flat tabletop or counter. Lift your right foot a bit. With your right arm, brush the upper left corner of your mouth for 30 seconds.

Now put the toothbrush in your left hand and raise your left foot.  Brush the upper right corner of your mouth for 30 seconds.

Switch again, putting the toothbrush in your right hand and lifting your left foot. Brush the lower left corner of your mouth for 30 seconds.

Put the toothbrush in your left hand and lift your right foot. Brush the lower right corner of your mouth.

2. Strengthen Your Legs – Mini-Squats

Sit on a chair keeping your spine straight but not strained, relax the shoulders.

Feet are hip distance apart, parallel to each other. Hands on the knees.

Press your feet firmly into the floor and lift your hips 5-10 cm up. Then sit down again.

Repeat 3-6 times, 3-5 times a day.

 

If it’s hard for you to stand up, start from leaning forward with the straight spine, pressing your feet firmly into the floor.

3. Help Your Knees with Acupressure Knee Massage

With flat palms rub the inside and outside of the knee as if you were trying to light a fire.

Thumbs massaging the knee cap and fingers massaging back of knees.

With your finger tips pinch a pie crust around the knee cap. This helps to draw oxygenated blood to the knee.

 

  

4. Improve Your Posture, Stretch  Your Lower Back  and Hamstrings

Stretch your right leg by lifting your toes. Put both hands on your left knee. Inhale and lean forward with a straight spine. Breathe naturally and stay in this pose for 0.5 – 1 minute. Don’t push your body forward, let gravity do its work. Switch legs and repeat.

Do this exercise 2-3 times a day.

5. Fight Arthritis with Finger Massage

This is my favourite exercise for fingers. You will feel the difference right away. Do it every day 1-3 times.

Massage each finger in a circular motion – from the tip of the finger to the base. Especially around knuckles. Then “wash” your hand by squeezing it. Change hands and repeat.

6. Neck Tension Release

Turn your head to the right.

Bring the chin closer to the chest.

and move it from right to left like drawing a semicircle. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Do this exercise 3-5 times.

7. Ease Your Shoulder Tension with Shoulder Circles

Bend your elbows and see if you can touch your shoulders with your hands.
Begin to draw circles clockwise with your elbows starting small and getting progressively larger and then back down to small once again. Do it 3-5 times.
Repeat in the opposite direction.

 

 

The tips on this page are available as a downloadable handoutSeven Chair Yoga Essentials for Everyday Life

 

Meditation On light

candle
Meditation on Light is considered to be one of the most effective forms of meditation. At first, set aside a few minutes for meditation every day. Later, you may choose to extend this period and prolong your meditative experience. Let it be the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed by sleep and the chores of the upcoming day have yet to impinge on the senses and distract your physical and mental energy. Have a lamp or a candle before you, with a bright and steady little flame. The flame does not diminish in luster and many other flames may be lit from it. It is the most appropriate symbol of the eternal absolute.

If you can, sit cross-legged. If you are not able to sit like this, then sit in any comfortable position in front of the flame. Look on the flame steadily and closing your eyes, try to feel it inside you, between your eyebrows. From there, let it descend down into the lotus of your heart, illumining the path. When it enters the heart, in the center of the chest, imagine that the petals of the lotus bud open outward, one by one, bathing every thought, feeling, emotion and impulse in the light and removing darkness. There is no space now for darkness to take refuge; it has to flee before the flame. Imagine the light becoming wider, bigger, brighter. It pervades the limbs; they can no more busy themselves in dark, wicked, suspicious activities. They have become instruments of light and of love.

The light reaches the tongue. Falsehood, slander, bragging and spite vanish from it. It reaches the eyes and the ears. All dark desires that infest and infect them are destroyed by the brilliant light of wisdom and virtue. No more puerility, no more poisoning of the ear. Let your head be charged with Light; all wicked, vicious thoughts disappear, for these are denizens of darkness. Imagine that light inside you, more and more intensely — and it will be so. Let it shine all around you, enveloping you in the brilliance of love. Let it spread from you, in ever-widening circles, taking into its fold your kith and kin, your loved ones, friends, companions — nay, strangers, foes, rivals, enemies — all men all over the world, all living beings — all creation.

Do this every day, without disruption, for as long as you enjoy it. Do this deeply and systematically. A time will certainly come when you no longer relish dark and evil thoughts, no longer yearn for dark and sinister books, no longer crave toxic food and drinks, no longer handle ugly demeaning things, no longer wish to inflict injury or formulate evil designs. You are then in the realm of the divine, of peace beyond words.

Remain in this state, witnessing light and being light, everywhere, for all. If you are used to adoring God in any form, visualize that form in that Light. For light is God, and God is light. When light meets light, it is all light. There is no boundary between your light and His light. They merge, they fulfill.

In the peacelessness that is confounding the world, you must seek a higher spiritual peace. In that peace, you can visualize supreme splendor, and in that immanent and transcendent splendor, the all-embracing light is experienced. In that all-embracing light, the Universal Eternal Absolute is present. When the individual meets the universal it becomes universal. I and I become we; we and he become only we. Practice this meditation everyday. You may also repeat the name of God (any name that arouses in you the spirit of adoration and devotion), always taking care to be intensely conscious of his might, mercy and munificence.