Maitriyasana (Sitting on a Chair Pose) is a general term for practices that modify Sukhasana (Easy Pose) so it can be performed while sitting in a chair.
There are many asanas in which your spine is straight and you can sit comfortably in a comfortable position without twisting your legs in any way. In fact, rather than focusing on the hands or feet, the focus should be on keeping your spine straight. And the easiest posture to sit in this posture is Maitriyasana (Sitting on a Chair Pose).
In this posture you can sit on a chair or bench. Keep your feet straight on the floor or in Sukhasana on a bench. Anyone can use this asana. Even people who do not have flexibility in their body or those who have difficulty in sitting on the ground can also sit comfortably in this posture. By sitting in this posture, you will not experience any kind of discomfort during meditation.
Benefits of Maitriyasana (Sitting on a Chair Pose)
Many of the basic body mechanics of the individual postures remain the same. In addition to a good stretch, yoga on chair participants can also enjoy other health benefits of yoga, including1:
- Improves muscle tone
- Better breathing habits
- Stress reduction2
- Better sleep
- A sense of better health.3
Maitriyasana (Sitting on a Chair Pose) Practice Guide
This modification makes yoga pose accessible to people who cannot stand, lack the mobility to easily move from standing to sitting position, or want a quick break from office work.4
Yoga on chair exercises can be done by anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of yoga and may (or may not) have mobility limitations. For example, chair exercises are great for someone who needs more support, is managing an injury, or wants a more therapeutic approach to exercise.
Since this chair is all about yoga posture adaptability, it should come as no surprise that the particular chair you use isn’t important; You don’t have to run out and buy a special yoga chair. Chairs with wheels are not ideal because they are unstable, but almost any other chair will do. If you’re on the shorter side, place blocks or folded yoga mats under your feet to give yourself a firm foundation.
- Sit tall in a firm, straight-backed chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Rest your hands on your thighs or knees. Relax your jaw, take a few minutes to remain in this position with your eyes closed and breathe regularly.
- This seated shavasana will help your body absorb all the good effects of the posture you perform and transform you through the rest of your day.
Alternative Pose Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
If you have flexibility in your body, you may want to sit in an alternative posture – Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- In this, you sit with both legs folded across each other.
- That is, one leg rests on the ground below the knee of the other leg and the knee of the other leg is kept comfortably on that leg.
- Sit on a thick, folded blanket so that your knees and ankles don’t put too much pressure on them.
- The posture of your meditation means that the seat or place where you are sitting should be stable, but neither too rigid nor to move.
- This posture should not be too high as it will disturb the position of your body.
- If you don’t have flexibility in your legs or if there is tension in your thigh muscles, you will notice that your knees are not able to stay on the ground.
- In this situation, you can put another cushion or another folded blanket under the hips to help you sit.
- Before sitting in the asana, if you do simple exercises that stretch the body, then it helps in increasing the flexibility in the body, so that you can sit for meditation more conveniently.
Whichever asana you choose, practice it regularly and don’t try to change it too quickly. If you practice sitting in the same posture regularly, then slowly that posture will become stable and more comfortable for you.
- Volume 21, Issue 4, August 2013, Pages 313-323. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2013.04.001. National survey of yoga practitioners: Mental and physical health benefits. Alyson Rossa, Erika Friedmann, Margaret Bevansb, Sue Thomasa. Available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0965229913000630
- Volume 94, November 2017, Pages 194-201. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.07.015. Effects of chair yoga therapy on physical fitness in patients with psychiatric disorders: A 12-week single-blind randomized controlled trial. Available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002239561730273X
- Volume 28, Supplement 1, February–June 2018, Pages 70-73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1130-8621(18)30040-8. The effects of chair yoga with spiritual intervention on the functional status of older adults. Available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1130862118300408
- Volume 65, Issue 3 p. 592-597. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14717. “A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of the Effects of Chair Yoga on Pain and Physical Function Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults With Lower Extremity Osteoarthritis.” Available here: https://agsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.14717.