Hi there. Amanda Gorman here. Thank you so much for joining me for chair yoga for remote workers. I’m so happy to have you here. I wanted to dive into this topic for WordFest 2021, which I’m honored to be a part of, because I know like me, you probably are sitting in a chair for the majority of your day or standing at your standing desk or, you know, doing whatever you need to do to work on your computer and whatever position works best for you and your body.
And I know that I tend to get stuck into certain positions that don’t involve a lot of movement unless I consciously bring in movement into my day by taking breaks and by practicing some of the things that I’m going to show you today. Okay. So I find this really important for keeping myself focused and maintaining a strong concentration throughout my Workday, a connection with my body.
And it. Needs, uh, when I empowering through work and not moving my body, I tend to not eat. I don’t drink as often. I don’t go to the bathroom as often because I’m not actually connected with what my body physically needs kind of just stuck up in the head. So bringing this. Physical practice into your day can really make a big difference for your productivity in the long run, because you’re taking the time to consider what you physically need so that you can then create that foundation for yourself to be mentally prepared for whatever your day might bring you.
So as we’re getting set up here taking the first few moments, just to evaluate your setup. If you need a glass of water, if you need to run to the bathroom quickly, I do what you need to get yourself comfortable and really settle into this practice. Now, depending on the chair that you have, you might have arms on your chair.
You might not. If you have a chair nearby that doesn’t have arms that might suit you better. Cause you’ll have a little bit more room on the sides as you’re moving throughout the practice. But if you have arms on your chair, it’s not a problem. We’ll work with what we’ve got. I’m using a blanket underneath my seat here, so you can choose to do the same a pillow or a blanket works really well.
I’ve pulled it just in half. Basically the idea here is that the tailbone or the sit bones and the hips, those little bony parts right on your bottom are a little bit higher than your knees. And what this allows for is a nice little, uh, Decline in the, in the femur bones here, which then allows the pelvis to tilt forward a little bit, rather than curling on under and tucking the tailbone under where we tend to feel that rounding sensation through the mid back.
And then that translates into the upper and cervical spine. So by tilting the pelvis in a more neutral position, kind of untucking your tailbone. If you can think about sticking your bottom out even a little bit, that’s going to really help you throughout this practice to maintain a nice long spine. And another part of this that’s important is your feet being able to touch the floor.
So if you need to get a blanket for underneath your feet or another pillow, or maybe you have some yoga blocks or books nearby and I’m short. So I need a little bit of a support underneath my feet usually, or I scoot forward on my chair to accommodate for my position. I want you to be able to press all four corners down into the floor, really grounding down through those feet.
So with all that said, kind of taking another breath or another moment to getting comfortable, maybe affecting your environment, turning off notifications. And then just getting comfortable in your seat and just wiggling things out, checking in how the body is landing on your chair, where you feel the weight in your hips, where you feel the weight in your feet and see if you can smooth all of that out.
See if we can press evenly through the feet, into the floor, the legs onto the chair. What’s your arms and your hands. Rest. Wherever is comfortable. And just start to bring attention to your breath. You can choose to close your eyes. If you like at any point or take a soft focus on the floor in front of you or space in front of you.
you start to notice the way the breath is moving in your body, where you feel a sense of expansion. Or contraction.
Noticing any sounds that may surround you
staying with your breath.
When you feel ready? Just starting to invite yourself back. I’m moving fingers or toes.
Eventually blinking the eyes open if they work well,
that’s, uh, bring a little bit more awareness into the length of your spine here. Reach that crown of the head up towards the ceiling to create a little bit more length in your neck space from your ear to your shoulder, and a little more space in your waist. Teaching can get longer through each vertebra,
maintain this length throughout your practice. So we’re going to keep coming back to this as a Homebase, as land through the center of the spine without growing the tailbone under consciously on talking it, it’s almost like we’re sticking our bottom out behind us. Pay attention to what’s happening in the front of the body.
If we tend to back then by sticking the rib cage out and just it in the front. So we stay long and we’re going to start to move through the neck. We’re going to bring our chin down towards the chest
there to bring the chin back up to center, and then up towards the ceiling.
Try that again at your own pace, moving here to see what range is possible.
And the goal here is to feel a lot of opening in this space that we’re stretching. So as the head comes down, the back of the neck is opening. As the chin comes up the front of the neck opening, we don’t really want to feel too much happening on the closed side. So if we feel any sort of teaching or discomfort, just dial it in a little bit more.
Don’t go quite as far, if it’s feeling pretty good, let’s do another round. So you can go a little bit further.
Keeping the rest of the body still as the neck move,
let’s bring the chin back down to the chest as you finish up.
Letting the head get heavy here, keep the shoulders as they are not rounding or doing any other sorts of things. And then we’re going to start to bring the chin over to one shoulder, looking over that shoulder a little rotation, and then bring it back to the center again, not moving through the shoulders, adjust the neck and the head.
Turning to look over the other shoulder. And then coming back again to the other side,
as you come back to your first side for me, it’s my right side, going to start to make a full circle now. It doesn’t matter which direction you’re going to spring the chin up towards the ceiling and guide it in a circle all the way over to the other shoulder. Eventually reaching it back down towards the chest and then going again now making a full circle with enough.
If we’re noticing anything, that’s not feeling great, make your circle a little smaller.
Or skip a part. That’s just feeling uncomfortable.
Finish up the round that you’re on. Bring the chin towards the chest and go the other direction. First, turning to look over to that shoulder rotating and then turning to look up towards the ceiling. Bring that chin up and over to the other shoulder. Down to the chest.
You might need to bring some tension into the hands on the legs, into the abdominals, into the legs, the feet on the floor to keep everything stable, not moving other than the head and the neck finish up our last round.
Bring the chin back to the chest and slowly bring your gaze back up towards center to shake the shoulders out a little bit, then how that’s feeling any movement that feels good there. Okay. Good. All right. Just checking in once again, with your tall position at length, through the spine, grounding down through the feet, I’m going to start to focus on the sternum so you can choose to bring your hand right to the sternum, that center part of your chest.
And we’re going to start to leave that sternum in towards the hand forward. And then we’re going to start to bring the sternum in towards the back of the body and round I back and bring it forward. Can choose to keep the hand there or use the legs, the hands on the legs for a little resistance, go back and forth here.
If you’ve practiced cat, cow pose or spinal waves on all fours and then yoga practice to exactly what we’re doing here. Moving our spine into extension inflection.
Follow the sternum, the sternum leading forward, or drawing in. Try one more.
As you come in, round the spine, grab the legs, really push into the legs to round to the shoulders, drop the head, curl the tailbone under. And then from here, that’s a shift over to one side, like your rib cage, trying to reach over the edge of that chair. And then that rib cage leads for where like we’re stirring a pot.
And start to bring that rip to go over the edge of the other chair, the other side of the chair. And then back again, it’s through the pot. If you need to open your feet up a little bit wider here, you’re welcome to keep the attention on the sternum. It’s spanning around the pelvis.
I would like to visualize during a pot here in the pelvis is the pot. Your spine is that spooned staring as far away from the center as possible. Instead you go the other direction, see how exaggerated you can make this movement for what’s available in your body, in your chair.
Got it. Let’s finish up one more round.
I’d bring it back to center and just kind of check in once again, moving around. If you feel you need to come back to home base. Lengthen through the spine and invite you to bring your arms to the back of the head. So we’re going to interlace the hands in the back of the head to support the back of the head of the club a little bit and open up to the elbows here, lift up through the spine, the sternum lifting up the crown of the head, reaching up front of the cage down.
And that tailbone is not curling under, but instead on talking consciously. Ground down through your feet and such a tilt one elbow up a little higher than the other notice. If you tend to back then here or forward bend and try to just lengthen to the side of your body only slowly, bring it back to center and then bring the other elbow up.
good. Bring it back to center again, trying this a few times at your own pace.
Are you breathing? Make sure you’re not holding your breath, which is easy to do when we’re concentrating on these movements.
Let’s do one more on each side.
Good. Come back to center, release the arms, go ahead and shake them out. Whatever feels good there. Good. Let’s rest the hands on the legs. Find that link. You’re the crown of your head. So to turn, to look over one shoulder,
turn it back to center and turn to look over the other shoulder
again, as we turn, maybe close your eyes on this round to see if you can turn even further. Imagine you’re trying to line up your chin and your shoulder. Come back to center while we’re the other side.
Okay, come back to the middle, make them, show their circles here, circle the shoulders. Really big. See if you can draw them forward and up towards the ears and behind you and down. Not just these little tiny circles, but how big can we make this movement? Get the whole shoulder capsule moving back and the shoulder blades,
I’d go the other direction back, squeeze the shoulders together and lift them up and reach them forward down.
Good. Shake that out.
And to bring some awareness into the arms here. So we’re going to bring our arms out at our side. If it’s possible. Do you have arms on your chair? Just bring your arms up a little bit higher. Uh, any angle here that’s below a 90 degree is really what we’re going after so that we can start to turn the palms forward.
The pinkies, trying to reach up towards the ceiling and then turn the palms to the floor and then point them behind you. And try to bring those bums up or back behind you spiral there. Good. And then keep that going a couple of times like this and see if you can focus this, turning this rotation and the shoulder capsule here.
So rather than just my elbow or my wrist or my hand doing the action, I want my shoulder. To be internally rotating or externally rotating.
Let’s do another two rounds.
Good. Finish up there and just let your arms rest again at your side. Shake it out. Good. Now I invite you to bring your hands forward in front of you. Bring your wrists in June, extension, those fingers reaching up towards the ceiling fingers, joined back towards you, and then point the fingers down. Good.
Try that a couple of times, try to keep the fingers straight. Your elbows to rate the rest of the body is nice and strong and your torso. And you’re trying to see how many wrinkles you can create either in the top of this, as the fingers come up or in the bottom of the rest of the fingers, point down.
Once you do this enough times to start to feel some fatigue
in the forearms. Good. Let’s do one more and hold. And that extension pull those fingers towards you. Draw those hands down, pull the fingers towards you. Good. Bring the fingers out long in front of you and go out the sides. So those forearms are staying stable and you’re trying to point the fingers to side inside.
If you feel like your fingers are really doing most of the work, make fist and point the knuckles towards each other in a way.
Just some burning happening in the forearms. Like I do all beautiful. Good. One more point towards and let go, shake that out. Give the shoulders a break. Good. We’ll come back to a little bit more risk stuff. Cause I know that that helps me immensely. As I’m working, my risks tend to get really, really sore and I just lose mobility in my hands, uh, just from typing and doing a lot of habitual actions in my day.
So risk prep is really great. So let’s round down to the feet. Again, reach up to the crown of the head, bring the chin down to the chest, bring the chin back up.
Like we did before bring the chin to the chest. Think about rounding from the top and such around now through the shoulders, draw the sternum and towards the back of the body, allow that to follow through the rest of the spine. As much as you can round here, maybe those hands crossed forward a little more and then said to untuck the tailbone, draw the belly forward first.
And then the rib cage, the sternum. The collarbone, throw open the chin, lift any amount here and start from the top down. Chin comes down with the chest. Then I’m coming in and belly, hip curl under good for, to untuck the tailbone. Come back up into that extension. Try this a few times on your own. You spinal ways.
And it’s like mental focus,
moving with intention, trying to separate each vertebra in the back of the body so that it moves individually. That’s our goal doesn’t mean it’s going to happen today.
Good finish up the round that you’re on. As you rise back up to a tall seat,
let go of some of that tension. Take a moment to check in. Okay.
Notice your breath.
So to come back, open the lines if they were close and let’s bring the hands, the back of the head. Once again, I’m opening up to the chest, meaning the head back into the hand, and then coming back and grounding to the upper back. Then your elbows come together as you round. Good. Let’s open it back up again.
Sternum comes forward. The Bonnie follow here, how it is going to naturally,
whatever that means to you in this moment, let your body move. As you drive a stern and draw the sternum forward.
Go ahead, come back to neutral, lengthening again, through the crown of the head, draw that front rib cage in and down a bit and tuck the tailbone. And instead to bring one elbow up a little higher
side, bending, not back bending forward, bending, come back and the other side lift.
Come back to center, dropping that first side again, this time to, to bring that top elbow forward a little bit to around yourself, down to the middle and bring that elbow all the way over to the other side. So it’s lower this time. The other elbow lift. So you’re making a full circle pole, that site up and then chill it back down.
Rounding forward here. Just play. Doesn’t need to be perfect.
Tipping down. Rounding forward.
Finish up this round, round it forward. And then whichever side, you’re going to switch. Bring the opposite elbow down first. Uh, this elbow lift up nice and high, and you pull yourself up and bring that elbow down. Round it forward. Doesn’t matter what five you started on. Don’t get caught up on that. Just make the circles with the upper back.
Tying the mobility. That’s possible here.
Finish up your last round,
bringing yourself back to the middle and then fully rolling the spine all the way back up. Let go of the hands, shake the shoulders out,
move in, whatever way is going to serve you here.
Check in with your breath. Get settled, grounding through that feet.
Find that nice long spine. Once again, bring your hands out long in front of you and make some fist point those towards each other. First, keep those elbows straight point them knuckled towards each other and down and start to make a full circle. Drawing those knuckles down towards the floor. All the way out and external rotation until the knuckles come up towards the ceiling point, the thumbs forward and bring the fingers up towards the ceiling.
Keep the elbow straight here. Draw the fingers towards you. Thumb forward. Good. All right, now we’re going to wrap the fingers into those fists and brang those knuckles out to external. And then internal again, out an end point, the knuckles down towards the floor. So you can make a full circle and then draw the knuckles up point the fingers, the fingers up towards the ceiling.
Thumbs reach forward, draw those fingers back. Good. Now start to make those tests once again, out in. And draw the knuckles down, make that circle and up to the fingers. Thumbs reach forward and hold here. Let me draw those fingers back.
Shake that out. Now we would do that a lot more if we had time. So maybe you commit that one to memory. It’s a really, really great one called forearm Flayers to really fire up. What’s going on in the forearm. You’re going to support your wrist as you’re working as you’re doing anything that you want to do in your day.
Just some finger flex here. Throw the fingers away. Shake the rest out. Good mood or shoulders once again.
Good. All right. Now come back to that. Nice long steep. Find that nice long spine. And one more time. Roll down from the chin to the chest. Well, all the way down. Curling the tailbone under and tucking the tailbone slowly. Come back up ahead of the last thing to arrive.
Good. Just checking in here now. There’s anything you need to do to make yourself more comfortable ground down through the feet when you’re ready, reach up to the crown of your head.
can you rest on the sides of your hands on your legs?
Bring attention to your breath.
Notice how it feels to be in your body now.
Give yourself some gratitude for coming to your practice for making this a priority in your day for trying something new. And I certainly thank you for coming to practice with me. I hope you enjoy a beautiful rest of your day and all of the sessions of WordFest 2021. And I hope to see you again soon.