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Chair poses improve yoga techniques

If you're new to yoga, here's a way to modify the classic chair pose. Practice half-chair for a while before progressing to the more challenging full chair position. This gives you a chance to learn proper technique without developing bad habits.

-- Karen Voight

Step 1 Stand with your feet together and with your hands by your sides. As you inhale, sweep your arms up and bend your knees. Sit back on your heels with your hips moving behind your heels. Grasp your forearms above your head. Drop your shoulders down and away from your ears and look forward. Make sure you keep your heels on the floor with your knees together and your abdominals pulled in. Take three to six slow full breaths. Come out of the pose by straightening your legs and lowering your arms.

Step 2 As you feel more competent and become comfortable doing the half chair, continue to squat deeper toward the floor. Straighten your arms overhead, pointing your fingertips toward the ceiling. Remember to relax your shoulders down. Sit as low as you can with your knees together and your heels on the floor. Hold for three to six full breaths.

Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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