The best way to do Utkatasana

Chair Pose – or Utkatasana – clearly works the muscles of the arms and legs. However, it also stimulates the diaphragm as well as the heart. The best part of the chair yoga pose is that anyone can practise it and any person who is able to sit will be able to benefit from chair yoga asana.

Utkatasana is not merely for weight loss. It is a practice which influences as well as empowers your attitude towards life. However, the standing yoga balance postures are difficult as they require you to balance your body weight on your legs. However, once you know how to do them correctly you will be able to enjoy its benefits for a long time to come.

Utkatasana Technique

  • Begin in Tadasana
  • Breathe in and then raise your arms above your head until they are straight and at 90 degrees to the floor. You may join your hands or, alternatively, keep them parallel to each other.
  • Exhale and then begin bending your knees as if you are sitting down on a chair. Try to get your knees to bend so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • As you move slowly into the pose, allow your knees to project slightly over your feet and your upper body to lean forward slightly but keep your ankles and knees together.
  • Square your shoulders and tilt your pelvis forward slightly lengthening the lower back. Make sure that you keep your inner thighs parallel to each other.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and breathe normally then slowly straighten back to the Mountain Pose.

For beginners, don’t bend your knees so low that you feel the strain. Try this asana out with your back a few inches from a wall. When you bend your knees, lower your back towards the cair pose and rest your tailbone on the wall. This will take a little pressure off your thighs.

Advanced students can lift onto the balls of their feelings while lowering themselves into the chair position. They can then bend further resting their buttocks on their heels and extending their arms forward and parallel to the floor.

A variation of Utkatasana

  • Interlace your fingers behind your back. After you do this straighten your arms way and up.
  • Place a block between your knees and then hold it there while performing the chair pose. This works the thigh muscles.

Deferrals and cautions

Headaches, insomnia, heart problems, pregnancy and high blood pressure. If you are experiencing any of these, avoid this pose or keep your hands in prayer position.

Preparatory poses

  • Virasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana

Follow-up poses

  • Tadasana
  • Uttanasana

The benefits of Utkatasana

  • Strengthens the leg muscles, ankles and stretches the calves.
  • Helps to correct flat feet.
  • Opens the chest and strengthens the shoulders. Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart.

Utkatasana strengthens the thighs as well as your ankles. Another great benefit of this asana is that it also tone the shoulders, butt, hips in addition to your back. The chair pose stretches the Achilles tendons and shins. It is known to be a therapeutic treatment for flat feet.

In addition to the above, Utkatasana also stretches the shoulders as well as opening up the chest. The pose tones your digestive organs in addition to your heart. Maintaining this pose for several breaths stimulates the heart rate in addition to enhancing the circulatory and metabolic systems. It quickly builds a lot of heat in the body.

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