Updated: Jul 25
Illustration by Jon Lander https://www.instagram.com/lander_jon/?hl=en
When I teach Sofa Yoga someone says 'Oh, that's how I used to read when I was a child' and someone else says 'My children watch television like that!'. Sofa Yoga is natural, playing around and making yourself feel comfortable and interested. Some bodies NEED to fidget. If you have a fidgety child or teenager take the chance to learn from them while they are still reacting to their body's messages about comfort.
Yoga things to do on a sofa:
1 - Sit. Cow legs
The sofa is fabulous for all those sitting things which are a bit too much of a challenge on the floor; the give often lets you get into them with a surprising degree of comfort. Try all the sitting variations. You can stay in them for longer than you would in a class or a practice, meditating or watching television, writing your blog or talking to your friends (I'm re-writing this during the Corona virus stay at home phase, so talking online or on the phone).
2 - Invert
Anything that gets your head below your heart is an inversion of sorts, so that definition includes Down Dog for example. These supported sofa versions are lovely back and forward bends, undoing your upper spine. You probably know there are counter-indications for inversions, so check them out before you try them. And importantly, make sure there is space for you to roll or crawl away if you find you are tipping off and don't have the strength to pull yourself back up. And that you feel ok with the idea of falling off a sofa head first. It's happened to me a few times, in rather glorious slow motion.
Hanging off sofa - don't forget you need space to crawl away if you tip off
3 - Anything else that comes to mind. Just try it and see if the sofa helps in some way, or if being on the sofa makes you more likely to spend time in it. This blogpost was written in 2013 for Yoga with Your Slippers On, the blog I wrote with my son Jon Lander the illustrator. The photos were taken by my daughter Rose, who's now making the new videos for my YouTube channel. I'm also working with our beloved Olivia, our original yoga cat. RIP. I'm not wearing my slippers here, but I have them nearby in case of emergency, and Sofa Yoga is a prime opportunity for keeping your slippers on while you do your yoga. If you don't have a sofa, many of these things work on a bed too.