This article is a part of the continuing Yoga 101 series, where we will be exploring the techniques and benefits of beginner and intermediate level yoga asanas as put together in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
In this article, we will focus on Utkatasana (Chair Pose) technique and its benefits. Before practicing this yoga asana, it is useful to understand the origin of Yoga and the Eightfold Path of Yoga as enumerated by Patanjali – the father of Modern Yoga.
Sitting on a chair is comfortable and easy. Sitting on an imaginary chair, on the other hand, can be quite challenging. That is exactly what we will attempt to do in this yoga pose. Utkata means fierce and powerful and this yoga pose requires a fierce determination from the yogi’s standpoint to maintain this pose for a considerable amount of time.
How to Do Utkatasana (The Technique)
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and stretch the arms straight over the head and join the palms.
- Exhale deeply, and bend the knees. Lower the trunk till the thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Don’t stoop forward, but keep the chest as far back as possible. Breathe normally.
4. Stay in this pose for as long as you can. If you’re doing this pose for the first time, then don’t stay in this pose for more than 30 seconds as it can be quite strenuous.
5. Inhale. Straighten the legs, lower the arms, return to Tadasana and relax.
Benefits of Utkatasana
- Removes stiffness in the shoulders.
- Exercises the spine, hips, and chest muscles.
- The ankles and leg muscles are strengthened.
- The abdominal muscles and the back are toned.
- The chest is developed by being fully expanded.
- Balances the body and brings fierce determination in the mind.
Contradictions – Do not practice this pose if you suffer from chronic knee pain, arthritis, sprained ankle, or pain in the lower back. Proceed with caution with this yoga pose during menstruation.