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[Video] Seated Yoga Session with Allison Ewing

Hey everyone. My name is Allison Ewing and I am a registered yoga teacher and a wedding and lifestyle photographer here in Cleveland, Ohio.

So I’m coming to you today with a quick video tutorial of how to do just a few simple yoga poses that you can do right from your desk chair since we all typically work from home anyway, or maybe if depending on what your business is maybe you are finding that you’re home even more, working more from your computer so we tend to be hunched over a lot.

I wanted to give you guys just a couple really easy stretches that you can do, again, right from your desk chair. I brought my desk chair downstairs to my living room just because I realized that the filming in my office was not going well. I have my sturdy paint chair with me today.

So let’s get started. So we’re going to find a comfortable seat that can be with legs straight down feet on the floor or maybe depending on your chair and how your hips feel today. Maybe even take a crisscross applesauce if you will and just maybe let the hands rest right on the knees.

And from here, what I want you to do is to just bring the eyes to a close. You can always add in any little movements little side-to-side, sway anything that you need here to get comfortable.

And as you start to tune out all the external factors that might be going on that are out of our control right now, I want you to turn inward and start to focus on the internal factors in your body that you can control. So that’s the breath, the mind and your movements.

And as you’re sitting here, starting to notice the breath, maybe taking a full body scan – just seeing how you’re feeling today noticing if there’s any areas that you might be feeling tension, stress, sore – just take note of that. Make sure you’re dropping the shoulders down away from the ears. Relaxing the space right between your eyebrows and relaxing the jaw.

From here, let’s inhale reach the arms way up overhead and exhale bringing your hands to Heart Center. Thumbs come right up where your heartbeat is. Let’s all together take a big inhale through the nose, fill up the lungs, exhale, open the mouth. Let it go (exhale). Two more— big inhale. Easy exhale. One more big inhale fill up the lungs and exhale let it all go.

You can gently blink the eyes open, drop the hands down, uncross the legs, again, coming back here might feel nice depending on your office chair to just kind of scoot a little forward and again just make sure you’re nice and stable in your chair – want you guys to be safe. So we’re just going to start out with some simple neck stretches, again, really simple, but they’re super effective.

So take a big inhale. And on your exhale slowly start to drop the left ear down to the left shoulder. You should feel that nice stretch here in the right side of your neck. Staying here for a few breaths only going over as far as it feels comfortable again. Just check and see how you’re feeling today. We’ll take a big inhale, lifts us back up through center, and exhale, drop the right ear down to the right shoulder stretching out the left side of the neck.

Again, couple breaths here. You may be noticing this side feels a little different for you. And that’s okay. I will inhale lift the neck back through center, the head back through center. Take another big inhale and exhale again, left ear coming down to the left shoulder. This time it might feel nice to bring the left hand up to the right side of your head. Just a gentle pull here, a little extra stretch in the right side neck, and only doing this if it feels good. We’ll slowly release, inhale back to center, exhale dropping the right ear down to the right shoulder again staying right here. This feels good or bringing the right hand up to the left side of your head. Just a gentle pull here and still focusing on your breath. Slowly release inhale, come back through center still focusing on the neck here.

Let’s just start to take a few half neck circles here. So it’s just a little gentle sway side to side. And going as slow as you need here. This should feel good. If there’s any spots that you feel might be catching, you might need a little extra stretch you can hold it right there. Maybe depending on how the neck feels maybe take a couple full neck circles and whatever feels good to you here. We’ll come right back through center.

And from here, we’re going to do a few shoulder shrugs. So drop the shoulders down the back, on an inhale, lift the shoulders up to the ears and exhale, drop them down. Good again, inhale lift the shoulders up and exhale, drop the shoulders down. One more big inhale, lift and exhale, release it down. If those feel nice you can do a couple more.

One of my favorite poses in yoga is the cat and cow progression. We’re going to do that right from a comfortable seat here. So bringing the hands right to the knee on an inhale. We’re going to pull the chest forward squeeze the shoulder blades together lift the gaze up to the ceiling. Take another big inhale. And on your exhale you’re going to round the spine pushing the back towards your chair chin tucks into your chest, but again big inhale lift the chest, look up, squeeze the shoulder blades and exhale as you round the spine, chin coming back to the chest. Inhale as you lift up and exhale as you round. Inhale, come back to center again. If those felt good, take as many rounds as you would like.

Taking it into a seated twist let’s inhale, lift the arms way up overhead and on your exhale take an easy twist over to the right – your left hand lightly on the right knee, your right arm behind you using your arm as a brace for your spine. So you’ll sit up nice and tall here. You can gaze out over to the side if that feels nice on the neck, or maybe you have a little extra flexibility here and maybe you take the gaze back behind your right shoulder.

You’ll stay here for a couple breaths with each. Inhale. I want you to think about inhaling as you lengthen the spine finding a little more space and on your exhale maybe you find just a little more of your twist. Take another big inhale here and exhale come right back through center. Inhale, lift the arms up and exhale as you twist over to the left, right hand lightly on the left knee your left arm behind you as your brace.

Staying here for just a couple breaths. Inhaling as you lengthen the spine up, exhaling as you find a little more to your twist. One more big inhale. And exhale coming back through center. Right? How you guys doing? I know I’m starting to feel a lot better.

So let’s inhale we’ll lift the arms up and on an exhale, I want you to squeeze the shoulder blades together bringing your arms into cactus arms or goalpost arms, which ever you relate to more. I’d like to say I’m a plant lady. So cactus arms work for me. So again, we’ll take a big inhale, lift all the way up and exhale, squeeze the shoulder blades together pull the elbows into the side ribs. Good, inhale to lift, exhale to lower. Inhale, lift up, exhale, lower. Let’s do one more – inhale, reach up, and exhale, squeeze.

Let’s inhale, lift the arms back up, hook the thumbs together here, on an inhale reach up through the sides, do a little shimmy side to side – again another big inhale. And on your exhale, we’re going to take a side bend over to the right. Feel that nice stretch on your left side body. Inhale, reach back up through center and exhale to the left. Finding space here in the right side ribs. Inhale, reach back up through center and exhale, release the arms down.

All right, let’s work into the legs. So we’re going to again, it might feel nice to move a little bit further down on your chair. So inhale we’re going to lift the right leg up to the sky. I hope you guys couldn’t hear my knee that just cracked. And we’re just going to hold here, might feel nice to roll the ankle a little side to side might hear those little little cracks, little pops here. Take another big inhale. And on your exhale.

I want you to cross your right ankle over top of your left knee so it’s seated half pigeon pose. So your knee might be up here and that’s totally fine. And your knee might be down here. It’s just all depending on the mobility that you have in your hips. So if you do find that you need maybe just a little extra of a stretch here, you can always take your right hand to the right knee and just lightly press down as long as that feels okay. Keep your right foot flexed. I just start to feel this right into the hips and the hip flexors.

Take another big inhale. And exhale, let’s release it down – might feel nice to just windshield wiper the legs and the knees a little side to side. All right moving on. We’ll inhale, lift the left leg up and again, might feel nice to just roll the ankle out here. Whoo, feeling the cracks in my ankle here. So take another big inhale and exhale, cross the left ankle over top of the right knee. Again half pigeon pose, this side might feel completely different for you. And that’s again totally fine. I know this side is my tighter side.

So I’m just going to lightly bring my left hand to the knee, just start to gently press the left knee towards the floor. This feels really good for me. But if you ever feel pain in this pose or any yoga pose that you might be doing, it’s best that you just come out of it and we just move on. Take another big inhale. And exhale, release it down.

Alright, two more poses. So take the knees out a little bit wider than we were before and we’ll take a big inhale, reach the arms up overhead on your exhale, bring your left forearm right to the left thigh, extending your right arm up. So that little, little bit of a seated extended side angle pose here, another side stretch – just get into the pose here, check in with the neck.

You can always look over to the side or maybe the neck feels okay, and you can look up to your right fingertips and just feeling that nice stretch in the right side body, but take another big inhale here. And exhale, release. We’ll inhale, lift the arms up overhead ,and exhale, right forearm comes down to the right thigh. Inhale the left arm to the sky again, see how this feels – check in with the neck gazing down to the floor if that feels best or again, maybe looking up at the left fingertips. I will do one more big inhale here and exhale, release it down.

Nice job guys. All right, we’re going to do one more pose getting a little bit more into the shoulders. I’m actually going to turn my chair, that way you can maybe see a little bit easier. So we’re going to come in to eagle arms. We’re going to inhale, lift both arms up on your exhale. Your right arm comes underneath your left arm, twisting at the elbows, maybe interlacing the fingers together if that feels okay. If this doesn’t feel okay, you can always bring opposite hands to opposite shoulders like you are giving yourself a hug or the I Dream of Jeannie pose as I’ve called it before. I don’t know yoga teacher humor. So, again, picking whichever variation feels best here. What I want you to do is I want you to really focus on bringing the elbows up to shoulder height. So if they’re down here start to work them up and then as you start to feel the stretch in the shoulders, what I want you to do is start to bring the fingertips away from the forehead nice and slow. As you do that, you should really feel the shoulder start to stretch right in the shoulder blades.

Take another big inhale. And exhale, release it down. Other side, we’ll inhale, lift the arms up – this time left arm comes underneath your right arm for our eagle arms. Again, trying to keep the elbows right at shoulder height starting to press the fingertips away from the forehead. Whoa, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling it in my shoulders. It feels great and we’ll take another big inhale.

And exhale, release it down. Shake it out, any little movements you need. Turn my chair back around. So, there you have it everyone – just some nice easy stretches that you can do right from the comfort of your office chair. Again, if you need any extra poses or need to do these poses longer just to feel better. Please do them for as long as it feels best for you.

So I’d like to close again seated sitting however it’s comfortable for you. We’ll inhale, lift the arms up overhead, and exhale, bring the hands right to Heart Center. Let your eyes close. Taking that full body scan. Once again may be noticing that the areas that you were feeling tension before might feel a little more ease.

You just feel all around like you can breathe and move just a little bit better. All together we’ll take a big inhale through the nose. Exhale through the mouth (exhale). Two more. Big inhale. Easy exhale. Last one— big inhale fill up the lungs. Exhale, let it all go. Blink the eyes open. I hope you all are staying well and healthy and I hope to see you again soon. Namaste.

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