Utkatasana (utkata = fierce/powerful)
How to do Chair pose (Utkatasana)
Start in Tadasana. Feet are together or slightly apart. Inhale and lift your straight arms over your head. Palms are facing each other, arms are parallel.
Exhale and sit on an imaginary chair: bend your knees, bringing your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible (don’t bring them lower than your knees). Shift your weight on the heels of your feet. Engage buttocks, thighs.
Tuck your tailbone slightly under to protect your lumbar spine. Imagine your belly button tries to touch your spine to active your abdomen muscles. Focus on a open chest, lifting sternum and bringing shoulders back and down.
Stay in utkatasana for several breaths. You can close your eyes, practicing your balance inside and outside. Inhaling feel your torso becoming wider, lungs expand. Exhaling visualize lengthening your spine, from tailbone to the crown of your head, raising up through your arms (keeping shoulders away from the ears).
To get out of the pose inhale and straighten your legs. Exhale and lower your arms to the side of your body. Come back in mountain pose. Breath and observe the changes in body, mind and breath.
Special focus on
knees: while bended, keep them parallel. Body weight is well distributed on both feet.
lumbar spine: don’t fall forward, arching your lumbar spine. Activate abdomen muscles and tuck your tailbone slightly under.
- Strengthens the spine, especially lower back and lower body: the ankles, thighs, calves
- Stretches the upper body: shoulders and chest, spine, arms
- energizes the whole body
- Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
- Reduces flat feet
Recent or chronic injury to the hips, knees, back or shoulders,
headache, insomnia, low blood pressure