Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
(OOT-kah-TAH-sah-nah) / utkata = “fierce”
The word utkata (उत्कट) in Sanskrit means “wild, or furious, or fierce”. This asana increases strength, balance and stability.
Instructions for Chair Pose
- Stand at the front of your mat.
- Inner edges of your feet are together, toes and heels aligned.
- Lift the toes and spread them and set them down while grounding your foundation into all 4 corners of your feet.
- Tighten your kneecaps, pulling them up. This also tightens your thigh muscles (quadriceps), so tighten those even more and pull those up, too.
- Now tighten your buttocks.
- Your weight is distributed evenly between the two hips.
- Pull your belly in and abdomen up.
- Roll your shoulders back. You’re tall.
- Shoulder are broad. Chest is broad.
- Soft face. Relax your jaw, mouth closed, lips together.
- Your head, neck, and spine should all be in a straight line.
- Hands are at your side, palms facing in, fingers together.
- Look forward, gazing toward the tip of your nose.
Modifications for Utkatasana
- Squeeze a block between your thighs for some stability.
- Stand with your back to the wall and get into the pose, resting your tailbone against the wall