Adaptation in Chair Based Yoga

Chair based yoga is already an adapted form of practice, either sitting on a chair or standing by the chair or using it as a prop to support your yoga practice.
During my time teaching chair based yoga I have discovered that although this is already an adapted yoga practice, even more adaptation is required within it, because of the audience I reach. They often struggle with other limitations, such as pain, function loss of legs or arms, lower mobility and so much more.
When teaching chair based yoga observation is most important; observing students and adapting the practice as I go, from the asana itself to even the overall way I practice. This is were clever sequencing comes in.


In my chair based yoga trainings I offer a framework as a basis of creating a class plan, but at the same time I strongly encourage my students to adapt the whole practice as they go.
CLEVER SEQUENCING means that you are not relying on class plans solely but you adapt according to your students needs, moving freely from asana and pranayama to meditation and back again throughout your practice.
While teaching you might want to simplify, intensify or even repeat.
Teach the person in front of you, showing care and respect.

Adaptability: simplify or intensify any tool on a physical, mental or respiratory level to ensure accessibility and efficacy for all your students, whatever their age and their physical and mental capacities.

Marc Beuvain


When you first start teaching (or practising) chair based yoga, you might feel limited to what you can do with your students or yourself. It is important not to rush and explore asana and its variations remembering for each leg position there are 8 directions your body can move while remembering that NOT all bodies are made equal.

teach chair based yoga - the 8 directions of spine movement
  • Up & Down
  • Side bend Right & Left
  • Twist Right & Left
  • Flex & Extend


Even though the whole of the practice is adapted by using the chair, further adaptation may be required while teaching (or practising) chair based yoga.

Rule: Effect > Looks

What is being achieved through the practice of asana is more important than the way it looks.
Lengthen, strengthen, increase prana or create relaxation all these are considerations that need to be made
Can mantras, gestures and breathing techniques be incorporated instead, in order to achieve the same thing?
Visualisation is also a powerful way to practice.

Let curiosity guide you beyond the asana.