Now that I’m getting into the groove of practicing every day, I realize how nice it is to have sequences available of varying length.
Here’s a 5 minute sequence that you can use any time of day. Because it uses the support of a chair, it is safe for many bodies and abilities. As usual, though, please take the time to breathe and tune into your body to see what works for you. If this doesn’t work for you, that’s okay! The process by which you’re learning more about your own body and its needs is what’s important.
Onto the sequence: check
1. Set an alarm for five minutes.
2. Begin seated in a stable chair. Examples of stable chairs include folding chairs and something akin to kitchen table chairs. Examples of unstable chairs include anything with wheels (unless you’re on a surface where they won’t roll), reclining chairs, papasans, beanbags, hammocks, etc.
2. For now, let your arms dangle loosely by your sides. Gently close your eyes and take a slow breath.
3. From here, lean your chest forward toward your thighs, letting your fingertips move toward the ground. Your fingertips may brush the ground or they may not; either way is fine.
4. Swoop your arms forward and all the way up. You will now be sitting upright in the chair with your arms overhead.
5. Exhale and bring your right hand behind you, either to the back of the chair or to your right hip. Your left hand can come to your right knee in a gentle twist.
6. Inhale back to center, bringing both arms overhead again.
7. Exhale and now bring your left hand behind you, either to the back of the chair or to your left hip. Your right hand can rest on your left knee, coming into a twist on the opposite side.
8. Inhale both arms back up overhead.
9. Exhale and bring both hands behind you on the seat chair. Your right hand will be on the back right corner and vice versa. You can also bring your hands to the sides of the chair back if that is more comfortable. Pause here for several breaths in this gentle backbend. If it is good for your head and neck, you can lift your sternum and slowly let your head drop back, bringing the gaze to the ceiling.
10. When you are ready, on your next inhale, s-l-o-w-l-y bring your head back up (if you had it dropped back), tucking your chin to your chest. From here, release your hands from the chair and continue this motion by rounding through the upper back. Your hands can come to your knees here, or they can dangle by your sides.
11. Inhale arms overhead, coming back to seated, bringing your chin back to parallel with the ground.
12. Exhale hands to your knees and pause. This completes the chair salutation.
Repeat this sequence, going as slowly or quickly as feels good for you, until your five-minute alarm buzzes. This sequence takes your spine through a safe range of motion and can be invigorating at any time of day.