Utkatasana – Chair Pose
Utkatasana is often translated as Chair Pose because the practitioner looks like she/he is sitting in a chair. However, the Sanskrit word utkata, means fierce, powerful, proud; so some yogis call it Fierce Pose. Whatever your translation, when practicing Utkatasana, you’ll immediately feel the strength of your legs in this powerful squat.
Follow these steps to get into Utkatasana:
- Stand in Tadasana, either placing your feet hips width apart (this can create more stability) or bringing feet together. Inhale to reach arms in front of you parallel to the ground (may feel more comfortable in your shoulders) or extend arms toward the sky with biceps by ears; palms will face each other.
- Exhale to bend your knees into a squat, like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair. Bring a bit more weight toward your heels and check that you can see the tips of your toes to keep your knees safely aligned.
- Continue breathing as you refine your posture. Draw your navel up and it, knit your front ribs in, and lengthen your tailbone toward the earth.
- Soften your gaze and the muscles in your face as you take 5-8 more breaths in this strong asana.
- On your next inhale straighten your legs, then exhale release your arms at your sides, back into Tadasana.
Benefits of Ukatasana:
- Strengthens ankles, legs and spine
- Stretches chest and shoulders
- Stimulates abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart
Cautions of Ukatasana:
- Low blood pressure