The Chair Pose or Utkatasana is named after the look of the pose, as the Yogi appears to be sitting on a chair while performing this pose. This pose tones the entire body and is a very beneficial and therapeutic pose for those with a flat feet.
Other Names: Fierce Pose, Powerful Pose, Hazardous Pose, Lightning Bolt Pose, Wild Pose, Awkward Chair Pose, Hunkering Pose.
The Chair Pose strengthens the thighs, ankles, calves, pelvis and spine. It exercises the shoulders, quadriceps, back muscles and chest and stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart. Practicing this pose stabilizes the knee joints and strengthens the lower back. The Chair Pose improves and increases the range of motion of your ankles
Utkatasana strengthens the body and increases balance and stability. It tones the hips and thighs and increases stamina of the body. This pose stretches the Achilles tendons and gets the heart to pump faster, stimulating the circulatory and metabolic systems.
Getting into Pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Initial Position: Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Drishti or Gaze: Forward
- Begin by standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale on a count of 2 and raise your arms above your head perpendicular to the floor. Join your palms together.
- Exhale on a count of 3 and bend your knees. Try to get your thighs parallel to the floor as much as possible, keeping the inner thighs parallel to each other.
- Keep your lower back straight and lower your tailbone down towards the floor.
- Stay in the pose for 15 to 30 secs and release. Relax in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and repeat.
If you feel exerted, relax in Happy Baby Pose.
- Half Chair Pose (Ardha Utkatasana)– Intermediate Version: The Half Chair Pose is the same as the Chair Pose, just that it requires one to squat only half way to the floor. One can practice this variation for a few days, before performing the actual Chair Pose.
- Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)-Advanced Version: Perform the Chair Pose as stated above. Instead of raising your arms above your head, form the Anjali Mudra (Prayer Position) with them in front of your chest. Twist from your shoulders to the right, taking care not to move your lower body. Place your left elbow on the right knee as you twist. Hold the pose for 15 secs and release. Repeat with the other side. These variations strengthen the hips and the inner thighs.
Beginners can take the support of a wall if they find it difficult to perform the pose. As they bend, they can adjust their position in such a manner that the tailbone touches the wall. This will give good support to the body and make it easier to perform the pose.
Beginners should also maintain a slight arch in their back while performing this pose and should also squeeze in their thighs as close as possible.
- This pose should not be performed by those suffering from a headache, insomnia, knee injury, ankle injury and low B.P.