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Yoga: Chair Pose – Utkatasana

Chair Pose
Trudy Vains

Jul 24, 2021

Chair pose looks so easy, but there is actually quite a lot going on. It’s a standing squat pose, requiring the attention of your upper and lower body, your breath and concentration. This pose is used in many yoga classes as a ‘stop and transition’ pose, to prepare for anything that requires a forward or backward bend.  

This pose allows you to lengthen and strengthen at the same time, also bringing in qualities such as balance and mental clarity. It’s a great leg and core asana, as well as providing stability and grounding.  

How to get there –

Starting in Tadasana.

Feet hip width apart.

Engage your core – belly button to spine.

Inhale and raise your arms over your head with palms facing each other.

Finger tips reaching for the ceiling.

Exhale, bend your knees, lower your hips, and take a seat on a chair that isn’t there.

Shift your weight back onto your heels.

Keep your knees just above the feet.  

Look down at your toes to make sure you are in the right spot.

Lean your upper body slightly forwards.

Lift your chest, to rise up and out of ribcage, to create a gentle back bend.

Relax shoulders down and away from ears.

Stay here for as long as you like, taking deep breaths in and out through your nose.

When you are ready to exit this pose.

Engage your core a little more.

Deep breath in, start to lengthen through your body, coming up into a standing position, bring your arms back down by the sides of your body.  Coming back to Tadasana.

Hot Tip –

Chair Pose

In the beginning, your balance may be a challenge, practice near a wall. Position yourself where you are pressing your bottom back towards the wall, this will create a safety net until you gain more experience and confidence.

Variations and props –

Arms –

You can place your hands on your hips.

Or bring them into prayer hands.

You could even rest hands on your thighs.

Lower back –

Place a rolled up mat under the heels of the feet as you come into the pose.

Instead of a back bend, keep your spine neutral.

Benefits –

  • Toning of the muscles around the ankles, hips and knees
  • Strengthening of the thighs
  • Opening of the chest and shoulders
  • Great Achilles stretch
  • Stimulation of the circulatory system and abdominal organs
  • Strengthening and stretching of Lower Back, Abdominals, Thighs, Glutes and Ankles
  • It can help with mental clarity
  • Regular practice of this yoga pose helps to lose weight, mainly from your buttocks
  • Increases your physical balance

Contraindications of doing Chair Pose –

Chronic knee or lower back injury.

Dizziness.

Injury to feet or ankles.

Severe arthritis.

Menstruation.

Always be kind to yourself, move with ease and grace. You are the most important person in your life.

Namaste

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By Trudy Vains

Trudy Vains is an Author, Yoga Teacher, and APP creator. Trudy’s book, 'Fused,' provides inspiration and a positive mindset in overcoming challenges. Trudy’s APP - 'Back Happy Yoga,' provides classes for mobility issues, back aches and pains, and stretches you can do at your desk.

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