Awkward Chair Pose - Utkatasana

Awkward Chair Pose - Utkatasana
Awkward Chair Pose - Utkatasana. © Ann Pizer

Type of pose: Standing

Benefits: Strengthens the thighs (which has some practical uses).

Instructions:

1. From Mountain Pose – Tadasana bend your knees until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor. The feet should be parallel. If you feet are touching, keep your knees together. If your feet are slightly separated, that's ok but make sure your knees are separated the same amount.

2. Brush your fingertips against the floor to make sure that you are getting really low.

3. Keep your knees bent and your butt low as you lift your arms up.

This pose is usually taught in one of two ways. In the first way, the priority is to keep the thighs parallel to the floor, In this case, the torso and extended arms can be at about a 45-degree angle from the floor.

If you want to emphasize an erect spine instead, bring the torso up to a perpendicular position and extend the arms straight toward the ceiling. Your upper spine is in a slight backbend. This may cause you to raise your butt slightly. I suggest trying the pose both ways since you may encounter either method when you take yoga classes.

5. Hold 5-10 breaths

Beginners: Work on bring the thighs closer and closer to parallel to the floor.

Advanced: Try to incorporate a twist. Bring the hands into a prayer position at the heart. Twist to the right side, bringing the left elbow outside the right knee. Stay low in the pose and keep the knees pressing together.

Come back to center and then do the left side.

Sequences Featuring This Pose:
Ashtanga Surya Namaskar B

10 Poses That Improve Core Strength

10 Poses of Warming Winter Yoga

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