How to do Chair Pose, Utkatasana
Yoga classes in Milton Keynes & Bletchley with yogalily.com
Utkatasana – squatting is an intensely powerful, innate body position that reminds us of our connection to the Earth. Chair Pose works the muscles of the legs and arms and stimulates the heart and diaphragm. Strengthen your willpower by deciding in advance how many breaths you will hold in this pose–and keep to it.
1. Stand in mountain pose with the feet hip width apart. Inhale, extend the arms over the head and lengthen the spine.
2. Exhale and fold forward into deep forward fold, bringing the chest towards the thighs and the hands to or near the floor.
3. Press down into the soles of the feet and lift the arms and chest forward, away from the thighs. Keep lifting the chest, extending through the fingers until the arms, like the thighs, are parallel to the floor. Gaze straight ahead. Continue to breathe smoothly and evenly for four breaths. Lift the sitting bones up toward the ceiling (giving your pelvis an anterior tilt) as you press down into the heels of the feet. You will feel the thighs working hard.
4. Exhale and bring arms overhead and the spine to a more vertical position. Now tilt the pelvis the opposite way–tuck the tailbone under so it feels as if the lower back flattens out. Draw the lower abdominal area in toward the spine.
5. Lift your upper body out of your hips. Move the back, chest and arms more to vertical even as you sit down deeply. Move your body weight back slightly so that the knees are not too far forward of the ankles–this will further engage the powerful muscles of the upper thighs. If it doesn’t create too much tightness in the neck, press the palms together. Stay here for up to four breaths. Release as you inhale, allowing the arms to lift you back up to stand in Mountain Pose.
Gaze: Upward to infinity
Counter Poses: Deep Forward Fold, Restful Deep Forward Fold
- Bend knees less especially if you have knee problems
- Practice just the arm or leg action before combining them
- Practice moving smoothly in and out of the pose before holding it for longer periods