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Gentle fitness - Week 6

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Chair Yoga

Be mindful of your body with these gentle fitness exercises.

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ListCat: Moving mindfully tips - Gentle
ID: 4780

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Mindful movement is exercise performed with awareness. Mindful Movement may be an effective way for you to reduce stress, induce relaxation and promote mental clarity.

Build a routine that involves strength, stretching in chair, chair yoga or other activities that best supports you.

Examples of activities: (check the weekly workouts for more ideas)

  • Mountain pose
  • Seated Eagle pose
  • Chest Expansion
  • Chair sit-to-stand

Focus on each item below to start moving mindfully:

  1. Breathe:
    • Match movements with the flow of your natural breath.
    • Focus on your breath for 2-3 minutes in the morning and 2-3 minutes at night.
    • Slow your breath and hold each stretch for 5-7 breathes.
    • Focus on your breath for 2-3 minutes in the morning and 2-3 minutes at night.
    • In a chair, sit comfortably with feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Focus on your breath moving in and out of your body as you breathe through your nose.
  2. Muscle Activation:
    • Focus on the muscle(s) that are working during an exercise or movement.
    • Try to activate the muscle by creating a greater contraction. Build a great mind-body connection to understand how your muscles feel during movement.
  3. Pay attention to your body:
    • Listen to your body through the movements.
    • Ask yourself: How does it feel? Does one side feel different than the other?
    • Complete a body scan by sitting in a chair with eyes closed. Focus your attention on each part of your body, moving slowly and purposefully from head to toe.
    • Be aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations.
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There is risk of injury when participating in exercise, physical fitness and physical training programs. If you have any concerns or questions about whether or not you should participate in exercise activities demonstrated on this website or videos offered on this website, you should consult with a physician or other health-care professional before starting any exercises.

The purpose of this NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY is to inform you that this website offers health and fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

BY PARTICIPATING IN EXERCISE ACTIVITIES FEATURED OR VIDEOS OFFERED ON THIS WEBSITE, YOU DO SO FREELY AND VOLUNATARILY AND ASSUME ALL OF THE RISKS AND HAZARDS OF PARTICIPATION, INCLUDING THE LEGAL RISK. THE CITY OF CALGARY DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY LOSS, PERSONAL INJURY (INCLUDING DEATH) OR DAMAGE (INCLUDING PROPERTY DAMAGE) SUFFERED BY ANY PERSON AS A RESULT OF THE USE OR MISUSE OF ANY INFORMATION, THIS WEBSITE AND VIDEOS MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS WEBSITE.

In consideration of performing or participating in these exercises shown on this website, you hereby agree to release and hold harmless The City of Calgary its officers, employees, volunteers and agents, against any loss, liability, damage, cause of action, cost, or expense of any nature whatsoever, including without limitation reasonable solicitors’ fees and other legal costs.

Mountain pose

1. Mountain Pose

1 set, 5 breaths

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ListCat: Mountain Pose
ID: 4788

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STANDING: Feet hip-width apart, arms on each side of your body with palms forward. Elongate the spine by pulling the top of your head toward the sky.

ON A CHAIR: Seated with feet hip-width on the floor and arms on each side of your body with palms forward. Elongate the spine by pulling the top of your head toward the sky.

Take 5 long, slow, comfortable breaths.​

Upward stretch

2. Upward Stretch

5 breaths

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ListCat: Upward Stretch
ID: 4789

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STANDING: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lift your arms upward while keeping your shoulders low (away from your ears), and spine in neutral.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but seated with weight even on your sit-bones.

Take 5 long, slow, comfortable breaths.​

Lateral stretch

3. Lateral Stretch

5 breaths

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Row Count: 1
ListCat: Lateral Stretch
ID: 4790

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STANDING: Stand with feet fairly close together. Hold a strap or towel in both hands with your arms overhead, then side bend the trunk to the left.

Do your best to keep your shoulders and hips forward and the belly button to the spine.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but place your hand on the chair.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths and repeat on the other side.​

Chair pose

4. Chair Pose

3-5 breaths

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ListCat: Chair Pose
ID: 4791

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STANDING: Place your feet hip-width, belly button close to your spine, and spine in neutral. Do the same motion as you do to sit on a chair while making sure your knees don't go in front of your toes.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing but holding a chair for support.

Take 5 long, slow easy breaths.​


Warrior 1 pose

5. Warrior 1

1 set, 5 breaths

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STANDING: Bring one leg forward and bend the knee towards 90°. Straighten the other leg behind either on an angle or toes facing straight ahead. Push your hips forward and raise your arm toward the sky.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but resting the back of your thigh on the chair. Use the backrest to help get in position then raise your arms toward the sky.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​

Warrior 2 pose

6. Warrior 2

5 breaths

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ListCat: Warrior 2
ID: 4793

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STANDING: Keep one foot forward and straighten the other leg behind with your foot slightly turned out toward the side of the mat. Bend the front knee toward 90°. Lift both arms parallel to the floor while keeping your shoulders low.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but resting the back of your thigh on the chair. Use the backrest to help get in position then raise your arms parallel to the floor.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​


Triangle pose

7. Triangle Pose

5 breaths

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ListCat: Triangle Pose
ID: 4794

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STANDING: Start with one leg forward, toes pointed forward toward the end of the mat, leg straight with a micro-bend at the knee. The other foot placed behind, toes pointing toward the side of the mat. Look forward.

Raise your arms parallel to the floor. Bend at the waist to lean forward with the trunk, keeping your arms toward 90° from your torso. Think about sliding the upper body against a wall and bring the tips of the fingers toward the ground. The other arm reaches to the sky.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but placing one hand on a chair in front of you. The other arm reaches to the sky.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​

Tree pose

8. Tree Pose

5 breaths

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ListCat: Tree Pose
ID: 4795

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STANDING: Start with both feet hip-width and arms relaxed on each side. Bring the sole of one foot inside the lower leg and slide it upward in a comfortable position to create a slight hip opening. Bring -your hands in the prayer position close to your heart.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but keeping your balance using a chair.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​


Wide leg pose

9. Wide Leg Pose

5 breaths

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ListCat: Wide Leg Pose
ID: 4796

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STANDING: Start in standing with your feet on the mat and legs open wider than your hips, feet pointing out. Bring your hands together in a prayer position. Bend your knees and lower your buttocks toward the floor, until your knees are directed over your feet.

Keep your back straight and shoulders low.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing, but with your hands holding a chair for support.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​

Chest expansion

10. Chest Expansion

5 breaths

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Row Count: 1
ListCat: Chest Expansion
ID: 4797

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STANDING: Hold a strap or towel in both hands with your arms behind your back. Draw your stomach in as if to bring the belly button closer to your spine. Lift your arms back while keeping your shoulders open to open the chest.

ON A CHAIR: Same thing but sitting on the edge of a chair. Hold the lower part of the backrest with both hands. Open the shoulders to expand the chest.

Take 5 long, slow, easy breaths. Repeat on the other side.​

Breathing exercises

11. Breathing Exercise

Hold 5 min.

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ListCat: Breathing Exercises
ID: 4798

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Breathing techniques can be done sitting on a chair, on the floor, or lying down on your back. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your ribcage. In sitting, you can also put your hands on your knees.

Breathing techniques:

Breathing through your nose: Breathing is done mainly through your nose. When you inhale and exhale through your nose, you calm your nervous system.

Keep the breath natural and relaxed. If at any time you feel tension, open your mouth and breath naturally, resting for the suggested time. Rest and breathe for 5 minutes. Setting a timer can be helpful if you struggle with relaxing.​

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