How to Do Seated Yoga Warm-Up Postures

Yoga postures provide a very broad spectrum of possibilities. You can do an entire routine from a seated position, including forward bends, back bends, side bends, and twists. (Note: Most of the postures here utilize the easy posture, sukhasana.)

Seated fold

The seated fold is a very simple way to warm-up your back for forward bends or to compensate after seated twists.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed in the easy posture and place your hands on the floor in front of you with palms down.

  2. As you exhale, slide your hands out along the floor and bend forward at the hips.

    If possible, bring your head down to the floor; otherwise, just come as close as you comfortably can.

  3. As you inhale, roll your torso and head up and return to the starting position in Step 1.

  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 four to six times and then switch your legs and repeat four to six times.

If you have a disc-related back problem, exercise caution with forward bends.

Rock the baby

This series prepares you for advanced sitting postures and forward bends.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you.

    Press your hands on the floor behind you for support

  2. Shake your legs out.

  3. Bend your right knee and place your right foot just above your left knee with your right ankle to the outside of the left knee.

  4. Stabilize your right foot with your left hand and your right knee with your right hand; swing your right knee up and down 6 to 8 times by gently pressing and then releasing the inner right thigh.

  5. Carefully lift your right foot up and cradle it in the crook of your left elbow; cradle your right knee in the crook of your right elbow and, if you can, interlock your fingers.

  6. Lift your spine and rock your right leg gently side to side 6 to 8 times.

  7. Repeat Steps 1 through 6 with the left leg.

  8. Shake your legs out.

If you can’t do this sequence without pain, don’t try the more advanced seated postures. Moreover, don’t try the rock the baby sequence if you have knee or hip problems.

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