How to Sequence a Chair Yoga Class

One of my older yoga students gets mildly irritated every time she hears a yoga teacher say: “Listen to your body and don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right.” She says, “My body tells me to stop moving and go lie down. If I listened to that I would never get out of bed.” The trick here is to learn how to interpret body’s messages and differentiate between genuine physical discomfort that can cause problems and procrastination.

Why Chair Yoga is Great

An experienced yoga teacher doesn’t fight student’s hesitancy to move. It makes much more sense to meet the student where he/she is energetically, start with basic body and breath awareness, then continue to small movement, and then gradually expand the parameters of movement until the whole body is involved.

Chair yoga works great for this because we start in a seated position that is comfortable to a vast majority of students and requires little energetic expenditure. After getting our students focused on the body and breath, we can take the practice wherever we want it to go, choosing the level of intensity that is appropriate for the group or the individual student.

How to Sequence Chair Yoga

Below are some suggestions on how to structure a chair yoga class while building gradual movement progression.

Diagram showing how to sequence chair yoga class

Read more chair yoga practice tips: 4 Things to Keep in Mind when Designing a Chair Yoga Practice from Olga Kabel and YogaUOnline.

Yoga Practice Tips from Olga Kabel and YogaUOnline: Avoiding Yoga Injuries – Common Alignment Mistakes in Forward Bends and Twists.

This article is reprinted with permission from

Educated as a school teacher, Olga Kabel has been teaching yoga for over 14 years. She completed multiple Yoga Teacher Training Programs, but discovered the strongest connection to the Krishnamacharya/ T.K.V. Desikachar lineage. She had studied with Gary Kraftsow and American Viniyoga Institute (2004-2006) and received her Viniyoga Teacher diploma in July 2006 becoming an AVI-certified Yoga Therapist in April 2011. Olga is a founder and managing director of Sequence Wiz- a web-based yoga sequence builder that assists yoga teachers and yoga therapists in creating and organizing yoga practices. It also features simple, informational articles on how to sequence yoga practices for maximum effectiveness. Olga strongly believes in the healing power of this ancient discipline on every level: physical, psychological, and spiritual. She strives to make yoga practices accessible to students of any age, physical ability and medical history specializing in helping her students relieve muscle aches and pains, manage stress and anxiety, and develop mental focus.


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