When you’re doing Virabhadrasana II in a yoga chair, you’ve literally got your pelvis rested right on that chair. So, guess what? You’d better have a darned good yoga chair!
But what are the best yoga chairs to buy, and what separates the good from the bad.
And besides, why on Earth would you want to yoga on a chair, anyway?
Let’s investigate, shall we.
What is Chair Yoga Anyway?
Chair yoga is a new form of yoga that you do while using a chair a prop. You can use the chair while sitting and you can also use it for support while you’re doing standing yoga.
Chair yoga was designed for people who either struggle to do certain yoga poses or who have limited mobility due to disability or a health condition. By having the chair for support you can make it easier to do yoga poses and you can also protect yourself from injury.
There are actually lots of benefits of chair yoga.
6 Benefits of Chair Yoga
- Improved Strength
- Improved Flexibility
- Improved proprioception
- Reduced stress and improved mental clarity
- Opportunities to meet people and socialize
- Improved stress and pain management
Obviously, to do chair yoga you’re going to need a yoga chair. But which is the best yoga chair to buy?
Which yoga chair to buy? That’s the question
There are several different types of yoga chairs. All of them are wonderful pieces of furniture for yoga studios. But which is the best yoga chair for you?
Let’s have a look-see, shall we?
Yoga chairs for meditation
Meditation chairs are very comfortable chairs designed to help you meditate. These types of yoga chairs are not designed to do exercise in (like the yoga chairs below). Instead, they’re designed to help you sit with good posture.
Here are my picks of the best meditation chairs.
Yoga balance ball chairs
Have you ever notices that even the best office chairs with lumbar support and all the fixings… they still don’t feel 100% comfortable? Then you might want to switch to a yoga balance ball chair. It’ll take the strain of your bum and do much more besides.
Yoga balance balls chairs are cheaper than high quality office chairs. Comfortable they are too… really, really comfortable.
The thing with yoga balance ball chairs is that when you sit on them your body is constantly making little movements. These movements are tiny. You won’t even notice them. But they’re happening all the time as your body stays balanced on the ball. What that means is that your muscles are more active, so you’re strengthening your muscles even while sitting down.
Many people argue that balance balls improve posture. Though jury is hung on this one. Take a look at this article on the New York Times for more on this.
So, is this the best yoga chair style for you? Well, yes if you want to do yoga sitting down, but no if you really need lumbar support.
The best yoga balance ball chair is Gaiam’s one
Ignore the fact that this yoga chair looks like the robot from Lost in Space. This is a high-quality balance ball chair yoga lovers will dig.
This chair is designed to replace your office chair and is stated to improve your posture. Gaiam say this yoga chair increases productivity and energises the mind (though whether that’s true for you or not, only time will tell, right?)
Iyengar yoga chairs
Iyengar yoga chairs are used for doing Iyengar yoga, one of the main styles of yoga.
These chairs look shockingly much like the chairs we used to sit on in Elementary School. Beautiful they are not. They’re basically backless chairs that have useful holes you can use to put your legs and arms through when you’re performing various yoga poses.
The benefits of Iyengar yoga chairs is that they support your body while you’re doing yoga. If you ever have knee problems (for example) then an Iyengar yoga chair will help keep you from injury. These are also the traditional chairs used in yoga lessons at yoga studios.
Unlike other chairs in this list, they’re not designed for extensive sitting—but then, neither is the human body, right?
The best Iyengar yoga chair is Ananda’s model
Ananada’s Iyengar yoga chair is durable and high-quality, plus it’s actually used in yoga studios around the world. This is also the best yoga chair for taller people.
Inversion yoga bench
An alternative to yoga chairs is a yoga bench. This is essentially chair with a hole in the middle that allows for more variable positions—meaning you can do more yoga poses on it.
One of the main benefits of yoga bench is that they help with many advanced yoga poses, especially head-stands and shoulder stands. You stick your head thro ugh the hole and grab hold of the handles to help support your weight. Your shoulders then rest on the padded chair-bit, meaning your taking less weight around your shoulders and neck.
If you’ve been trying to learn headstand or shoulder-stand, this is great tool.
The best yoga bench is Sisyama’s Fitness Yoga Chair Inversion Bench
Sisyama’s inversion bench is a high-quality yoga bench that will help you get into deeper stretched. You can also use this for inversion therapy if you have spinal injury or suffer from back pain.
Sisyama tells us that this bench also helps with cardiovascular functioning by removing strain from the heart.
You can also stick your head through the hole and do a shoulder stand if you want to look like a total boss.
Which is the best yoga chair for you?
So those are the main types of yoga chairs. They all have their own benefits
Balance ball chairs are great for sitting for extended periods and, ya’ know, bouncing around like a lunatic when your favorite tune comes on.
Iyengar yoga chairs are excellent for helping to learn yoga poses when you need a little support. Plus, they reduce strain so you’re more protected.
Inversion benches are best for yogis who want to learn more advanced asanas, like headstands. They’re also great for inversion therapy to reduce pain.
Which is the best yoga chair for you?
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NEXT: We reveal our picks of the best meditation cushions.