- The Height of the Chair: Do your feet touch the floor comfortably?
- The Seat:
- Is it level front to back?
- Is it level side to side?
- Is it flat?
- The Sturdiness of the Chair: Does it stay upright when you lean onto the back of the Chair?
- If it tips front or back, or side to side, the chair is not safe.
- Chair Back: Is it comfortable for you to sit in the chair?
- Arms: Chairs with arms can be suitable for yoga. They will limit some side movements. Chair arms are useful for those who need help getting up out of the chair.
When I first started teaching Chair Yoga I practiced at home on my kitchen chair. It was not long before I realized that the chair was uncomfortable and not appropriate for Chair Yoga Practice. The chair is heavy and sturdy, but my feet do not touch the floor easily and the seat tilts towards the back of the chair. Today I participated in the first day of a Senior Yoga certification. Some of the chairs we used were light weight versions of the metal type folding chairs as pictured above. The seat and back were made of skimpy black plastic. The back was very short leaving a large opening between the seat and therefore little support for my back. The seats had a bowl like dip toward the back. The legs were made of a light weight aluminum and were not as wide apart front to back as the standard metal chair. All this made the chair very tippy and unsturdy for yoga.
A member of our Wednesday Chair Yoga class does yoga in his wheel chair. One of my teachers works with people in their homes sometimes leading them through practice in stuffed living room chairs and couches. This yoga practice is less active and is limited in some of it's movements but can be effective for the needs of the participants. This practice is often followed by tea and conversation! It's about what you want to accomplish during your practice. The important thing in picking a chair is listening to your body and how it feels while you practice yoga. Enjoy and have fun!