Utkatasana, also called Kursiasana or Chair pose is a standing yoga posture that strengthens the core and lower body. In this pose, hands are kept straight and palms faces downward, while the knees bend as if sitting on an imaginary chair.
This is an important pose in yoga for energizing the entire body and promoting creativity and mental strength. Chair pose is also known as fierce pose, powerful pose or, in Bikram yoga, awkward pose. The Sanskrit name is utkatasana.
Its Sanskrit name comes from the words “utkata” (meaning “powerful” or “fierce”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”). It can be a fierce pose for your thighs and it gets your heart pumping quickly.
1. Stand erect with your feet slightly apart.
2. Stretch your hands to the front with palms facing downwards. Do not bend your elbows.
3. Bend the knees and gently push your pelvis down as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair.
4. Be comfortable or at least try to be! To get a better feel of the Chair Pose, imagine reading a newspaper or typing on a laptop as you remain seated.
5. Ensure that you keep your hands parallel to the ground.
6. With awareness, sit straight and lengthen your spine. Relax.
7. Keep breathing and flip through the pages of the newspaper, enjoying national and international news.
8. Sink deeper into the chair by gradually going down but ensure that your knees don’t go beyond your toes.
9. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of this pose straighten your knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through the arms.
A poor posture is the underlying cause of a backache, cervical problems, slip disc, and so much more. The practice of Utkatasana pose rectifies and corrects the bad posture and helps you achieve a better stance while sitting, standing, and walking. A good posture improves body alignment, eliminates back and neck pain, improves breathing, makes you look taller among others.
Quite an overlooked word in the health is ‘balance.’ But balance is equally important as strength, flexibility, and endurance. Incorporate the chair pose into your health regimen and improve your overall body balance. A proper balance is needed to prevent falls and injuries. Once we learn to balance our bodies, we can control our movements and escape the fractures that happen because of these falls. Therefore, balance is important for a healthy and functional life.
We all love to wake up fresh in the morning but for many, this isn’t the case. Rather they feel tired, irritated, and unwell. It can be because of worn-out legs. The tired legs include feelings of stiffness, an ache that is caused by a poor blood circulation, varicose veins, strain, etc. Chair posture helps tone the tired legs by improving circulation, stretching, and strengthening the legs.
If you are an athlete then the practice of utkatasana is great for you. When athletes run or jump, the muscles surrounding the ankle are put under a great stress. The chair pose strengthens the ankle musculature allowing the athletes to withstand a greater force and reducing the risk of injury. Also, chair pose makes the lower body and hips strong preventing chronic conditions like splints.
Shoulders help with everyday tasks such as the lifting of objects, performing exercises, and so much more. The utkatasana stretches the shoulders and increases their flexibility. Pliant shoulders are very important as they improve the overall body strength. Flexible shoulders keep the joints, ligaments, and muscles safe from injury.
A regular practice of utkatasana effectively stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs resulting in their optimal functioning and keeping the body in a healthy state. Also, the utkatasana increases the heart rate during the performance of the pose that is advantageous for the body as it speeds up the breathing allowing more intake of oxygen, gets rid of more carbon dioxide, pumps extra nutrients to the muscles, and increases lactic acid levels in the body.
Located below the navel, it is a center of ease and enjoyment. A balanced svadhisthana chakra leads to greater feelings of wellness, abundance, and creativity. Explore the feminine, lunar, and passive energy of this chakra by performing the chair pose on a regular basis.
Flat feet are nothing to worry about. Practice the chair yoga posture that effectively reduces the symptoms of flat feet and pain caused in the ankles, legs, and hips due to flat feet. Utkatasana is a cost-effective and safe alternative to surgery for flat feet.
The everyday practice of chair pose effectively reduces stress and tranquilizes the mind. Peaceful mind awakens inner strength and confidence helping a person stay strong in the face of discord.
Practice the intense powerful chair yoga posture and unearth your fiery side. Live your life high on vitality, health, and strength through a regular performance of utkatasana.