Art & Om: Chair Pose Variations

Art & Om is our weekly collaborative project with Karma Yoga Denton. We will explore Denton's art scene and also give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to master new yoga poses. We want to encourage you to get out and support the local arts, with a little flexibility.

Position: Chair Pose Variations
Mural: Mural off Fry St., on the back side of Big Mike's Coffee
Model: Donnie Levings

Chair or Fierce Pose is a great pose to strengthen the lower body, engage the core, and even build some more awareness in the upper body as well. There are so many variations, but we will highlight a couple for you in this week’s Art and Om post, with a bonus transition.

To touch back on the foundation of chair pose, if the big toes touch so do the knees or if the feet or hip distance apart the knees are apart as well. Make sure to keep the weight on your heels; you can even give those toes a wiggle to make sure that you are rooting from the back of the foot. Tuck the tail bone under so that you don’t come into twerking position, and work on dropping the tailbone down with each exhale while lifting up and opening up the chest with each inhale. If the hands are raised, palms spin inward so that they are facing each other – this allows the shoulder blades to soften down the back and help keep the spine nice and long.

To come into twisted chair, draw the hands into heart center keeping the elbows in line with the wrists. With an inhale reach up through the crown of the head to keep the spine tall, and then ride the exhale into your twist by hooking the elbow outside the thigh. Keep drawing the thumbs into heart center, so that you don’t dump into one shoulder and if you feel one knee jutting in front of the other just draw the hip back to keep the knees even. Don’t forget about that tailbone; you can always add challenge by lowering the hips in line with the knees.

Another variation of our twisted chair would be to open the arms wide and work on rotating the chest up to the sky, Keep the energy extending out through the fingertips while the gaze finds the toes or the lifted hand.

To transition into twisted crescent lunge, we will pick up the heel of the opposite leg. If you are twisting to the left and the right heel with lift and vice versa. Shift the weight into the heel that will stay in front, and begin to lift the heel you will be sending to the back of the mat. Extend out through the leg as you send the heel back, allowing the toes to find the mat and keeping the heel lifted over the ball mound of the foot. Continue to hug those inner thighs in towards each other and engage the core to help maintain some balance. Inhale- create lightness, Exhale- root down through the feet.