Want a unique piece of furniture? YogaChair is your best bet.

Made of hardwood in a lamination process, YogaChair is a new way to sit for long periods of time without damaging your body. When sitting in a regular chair, the body is constricted, but when sitting in the strange looking YogaChair, one can actually feel an extension from the pelvis upwards. With a curved shape and no back or arm rests, its seat forces the user to lean slightly forward while placing the shins in individual leg cushions, creating a sitting position that is comfortable for hours on end.

"This chair is great for everyone because all the muscles release and it offers and incredible way to sit," said Donnie Katlan, co-owner of the YogaChair business, based in Maryland. "For most people the look is hard to understand at first but once they sit on the chair they feel the difference and I just constantly hear, ‘I love it.’"

The idea originated three years ago, after a freak basketball accident left Katlan with a broken hip and several other leg injuries. His wife, Deborah, had an old kneeling chair in which Donnie was able to sit more comfortably after the accident. Regular chairs only placed pressure on his hips and after trying various types of rehab, Donnie realized the simple action of sitting in his wife’s stool helped him more with the healing.

A yogi for about 20 years, Katlan decided he would design a chair similar to the stool he had grown so fond of, thereby skipping all the stressful medical treatments. He revamped the stool’s shape and added leg support, only to be amazed by the results.

"I liked the chair because it was great for balance. I compared it to other ergonomic chairs and, by far, the angle this chair has makes all the difference in elongating the body and decreasing pressure. I sat on it every day and my knee had to bend but it wasn’t painful, very soon I had healed naturally, " he said.

Thinking he needed to share his new invention with the world, he established a company, found a manufacturer and trademarked the name YogaChair more than a year ago. Today, he has sold chairs across America and around the world to customers in Thailand, Ukraine and Israel, among others. Although he does not disclose profit or sales figures, Katlan says his business is growing.

"You can test this comparison on a regular chair. Sit on the end of your chair, feet flat on the floor with your back not touching the back of your chair. Feel how your spine extends out from your rear end. In a YogaChair you do not have to think about sitting properly. The design accomplishes that…and clients have even said that sitting on the chair has helped them loose weight," he added.

Usually shipping within two to seven days, the chair comes in six colors, and is designed for people between the heights of 4’10" through 6’2", and can handle 250 to 300 pounds. Although the original design has no back or arm support, the designs for an "executive line" are being created. As the co-owner explained, back and arm rests will be added to give the look of a regular chair; the colors will be darker, more professional, and the wood will come in a mahogany or natural stain.

Currently, children can also use the chair by placing their feet atop the shin cushions rather than placing their legs over them, but Katlan is also developing a children’s size chair. Not only can people use it at an office or home setting to relax or even meditate, younger clients will be able to sit in it while using a computer, playing video games or reading.

"I’m not interested in following fads and this doesn’t fit into the yoga items must-haves list, the point of the business is to benefit others, to develop healthy posture for kids and up. We’re getting there but there’s not a YogaChair in every home yet," said Katlan.

About The Author

Bessie King is a Blast contributing editor. She can be reached at [email protected]

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