How To Do The Chair Pose (Utkatasan)

The Chair Pose was designed primarily to work the muscles in the arms and legs, but this pose also stimulates the muscles in the heart and diaphragm

chair pose

POSE INFORMATION

GENERAL INFO

Name in Sanskrit: Utkatasan
Difficulty: Easy

POSE BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the spine and ankles, and the muscles in ths thighs and calves
  • Stretches out the chest and shoulders
  • Corrects flat feet
  • Stimulates the heart, diaphragm and abdominal organs

POSE CAUTIONS

Avoid this pose if you have headaches, insomnia or low blood pressure.

HOW TO PRACTICE THIS ASANA

ONE

Stand in the Tadasana position. As you inhale, lift your arms out in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Bring your palms together or keep your arms parallel to each other with your palms pointing inwards.

TWO

As you exhale, bend the knees. Lower yourself until your thighs are as close to parallel to the floor as possible.

Allow your knees to protrude slightly past your feet and your torso to fall slightly forward until it is approximately perpendicular to your thighs.

Making sure your thighs remain parallel, press the top of your thighs bones downward, in the direction of your heels.

THREE

Press your shoulder blades into your back. Move your sitting bones downwards (towards the floor) and inwards in the direction of your pubis to ensure that your back stays long.

FOUR

Hold this pose. After 30 seconds to one minute, on the next inhale, raise yourself by straightening your knee and using your arms to lift strongly. As you exhale, release the arms back down to your sides, returning to Tadasana.

yoga asana

How To Do The Chair Pose (Utkatasan)

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

BEGINNERS TIP

You can perform the Chair Pose near a wall for extra support. Start with your back a couple of inches from the walk. 

Use the wall to guide your positioning such that when you are in the deepest bend in the pose, your tailbone makes slight contact with the wall. This way the wall will help to support you.

MODIFICATIONS & PROPS

You can build strength in your thighs by placing a thick book or a block between them while doing the chair pose.

DEEPEN THE POSE

A good way to make the chair Pose more comfortable is by pressing the heads of your thigh bones in the direction of your heels. 

When in the pose, take the hands to the tops of your thighs. Place your palms where the groin folds over and press the thighs downwards towards the heels, while also pressing the heels into the floor.

Oppose this action by raising the tailbone up toward the pelvis to     deepen the pose.

PARTNERING

You can have a partner use either their hands or their feet to push your heels downward to the ground.

VARIATIONS

When bending your knees, raise yourself up onto the balls of both feet. Rest your buttocks on your heels, keeping them raised. 

Reach your arms out in front of you keeping them parallel to both each other and to the floor. Your palms should either face the floor or face each other.

Related Poses

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