Legs-on-the-Chair Pose

10.05.2017 |

Episode #3 of the course Restorative yoga for restful sleep by Elaine Oyang


Ahhh, this is by far one of my favorites for any aches and ailments of any kind. You’d be surprised how easy yet satisfying this pose is. The best thing is that you really don’t need any yoga props to support the body here—a sturdy chair, couch, sofa, or ottoman would all work. Stay for five minutes, 15 minutes, or longer!

What you need:

● A sturdy chair, sofa/couch, coffee table, or ottoman
● Two blankets
● One pillow
● Eye bag (optional)

How to:

Place a blanket just in front of the chair, sofa/couch, coffee table, or ottoman on the floor. Sit on the blanket as you bring your legs over the chair, then lie down. You want your knees to be at 90 degree angle, so make sure that the furniture that you’re using is not too low nor too high. The blanket should hug under your hips and your lower back up to the bottom of your rib cage. Place the other blanket over your body to keep you warm and grounded, and place your eye bag over your eyes, if using. Relax your entire body into the floor as if you’re melting. Stay here for 3-5 minutes.

When you are ready to come out of the pose, bring your knees towards your chest and roll to one side, then press yourself up to sitting.

Why this works:

This pose works really well for anyone with tension in the lower back. Why? Because when the legs are elevated on the chair, your lower back becomes flat and supported on the floor, whereas if you just have your legs straight on the floor, there is a small curve in the lower back with the weight of your legs pulling on your back. Your spine works hard to hold you upright all day, and—let’s be honest—usually not in the best posture either. When your spinal muscles are tense, so is your nervous system, since the spinal cord runs right inside the spinal column. When the spinal muscles feel supported in this particular pose, your nervous system relaxes.


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