To practice chair yoga safely, while protecting your body, you need one of the best yoga chairs or balls. These offer support while you exercise, which helps to keep you safe.
Just like with meditation, where you need a good meditation chair to keep your posture right, you need a good yoga chair or yoga ball chair to help keep your body in healthy alignment while you practice.
You could practice in one of the seats you have at home. However, because regular old seats aren’t designed for working out in, they will reduce the number of poses that you can do, and they will also provide inadequate support for your body.
In this guide, I’ll explain the different types of yoga chairs, and help you find the best one. And you might like to read my guide to creating a yoga room at home, so you know the other items to put in your yogi-room.
How To Chose The Best Yoga Chair For You
- While you’re thinking about chair yoga, you might also want to read my guide to the best yoga furniture.
Your Standard Seat
If you’re just starting to rock asanas at home, you might wonder if you can do chair yoga in any old seat.
Yes, it is possible to practice in a desk chair or kitchen chair. If you happen to have a sturdy wooden or metal chair, then you could practice chair yoga with it. However, these aren’t designed for your practice, so whether it is safe will be at your discretion. I’d recommend sticking to eating dinner and watching Game of Thrones in these, not doing asanas!
Backless Yoga Chair
One of the best types to buy is a backless yoga chair. Because it’s backless, you can practice more poses in it. You can get some relatively inexpensive backless yoga chairs, or you can take a standard seat and DIY it into a yoga chair (if you do this make sure it still has plenty of support for safety).
Best Backless Yoga Chair: Aozora
The Aozora Backless Yoga Chair is a full metal chair with a beautiful, colour pattern. What makes this one of the best yoga chairs is that it is comfortable on every part of the body. Some metal ones are uncomfortable for certain poses. But not this one. It’s always comfortable! And it offers outstanding support too.
Yoga Ball Chair
One of the best types of yoga chair to practice in is a yoga ball chair. You’ve probably seen these at your local studio or gym. They’re an excellent way to strengthen core muscles and improve your posture.
Have you ever noticed that even the best office seats with lumbar support and all the fixings still don’t feel 100% comfortable? Then you might want to switch to a yoga ball chair. It’ll take the strain off your bootie.
Yoga ball chairs are cheaper than high-quality office seats. Comfortable too… very comfortable.
The thing with yoga 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. Actually, the jury is hung on this one, take a look at this article in the New York Times for more on this.
So, is this the best yoga chair style for you? Well, yes if you want to practice sitting down, but no if you need lumbar support.
The best yoga 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 that I’m confident you will love.
This one is designed to replace your office seat and is stated to improve your posture. Gaiam says it 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, obviously.
These look shockingly much like the seats we used to sit on in Elementary School. Beautiful, they are not. They’re backless seats that have useful holes you can use to put your legs and arms through when you’re performing various poses.
The benefit of Iyengar yoga chairs is that they support your body while you’re doing asanas. If you ever have knee problems, then an Iyengar yoga chair will help keep you from injury. These are also the traditional type used at studios.
Unlike other options 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 used in studios around the world. This is also the best yoga chair for taller people.
Inversion yoga bench
An alternative is to get a proper bench. This is essentially a seat with a hole in the middle that allows for more variable positions—meaning you can do more poses on it.
One of the main benefits of a bench is that they help with many advanced poses, especially headstands and shoulder stands. You stick your head through the hole and grab hold of the handles to help support your weight. Your shoulders then rest on the padded chair-bit, meaning you’re taking less weight around your shoulders and neck.
If you’ve been trying to learn headstand or shoulder-stand, this is an excellent 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 stretches. You can also use this for inversion therapy if you have a 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.
So those are the main types of yoga chairs. They all have their own benefits
Balance balls are great for sitting for extended periods and, ya’ know, bouncing around like a lunatic when your favourite tune comes on.
Iyengar yoga chairs are excellent for helping to learn 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? Or are you buying for someone else? If so, check my list of the best yoga gifts.