Parivrtta Utkatasana – Squatting is a powerful innate body posture that puts us in touch with our connection to the earth. In the Revolved Chair Pose version, twisting the upper body gives the abdominal muscles a massage, while the legs are strengthened.
1. Stand in Mountain Pose with the feet hip width apart. Inhale, extend the arms over the head and lengthen the spine. Exhale and fold forward with bent knees, bringing the chest forward and hands to the floor. Inhale, press down into the soles and lift the arms and chest forward, away from the thighs. Keep lifting the chest, extending through fingers until the spine and arms are parallel to the floor.
2. Lift the sitting bones up towards the ceiling. Breath smoothly and evenly as you establish a steady grounding through the heels. You will feel the thighs working hard. Lower the buttocks more toward the heels even has the arms and spine extend upward more. Lower the hands to the heart and press the palms together in prayer position.
3. On an exhalation, turn the chest toward the right and lean forward to wedge the left elbow at the outer right knee. Press the elbow into the knee, While at the same time press the knee back to the elbow to twist deeper. Keep the hands at the heart pressing the palms firmly together. The right knee forward to be level with the left. Feel a spiralling of the upper body from the sacrum upward. Turn the head to look over the right shoulder. Sit down more deeply into the buttocks. Move your body weight back slightly so that the knees are not forward of the toes – this will engage the powerful muscles of the upper thighs more deeply. Stay here for five breaths.
4. Release as you inhale, allowing the arms to lift you back up to stand in Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.