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April Pose of the Month- Chair Pose

Chair Pose
Utkatasana (OOT-kuh-TAHS-uh-nuh)

Chair pose is a  standing “fierce” pose that works the muscles of the legs, lower back and arms. It quickly builds up heat in the body and gets the heart pumping, energizing the entire body.

How to get into the pose

- Begin in a standing position with feet parallel to one another and hip-width distance apart (or you can stand with feet together).

- Inhale and raise your arms up towards the sky, palms facing each other, soften the shoulders down away from the ears

- Exhale and bend your knees, drawing the hips down and back (as if you were sitting in a chair), try to get thighs parallel to the floor.  Don’t let your knees pass your toes

- Bring your weight into your heels

- Draw your abdomen in and up

- As you inhale reach higher through the fingers

- As you exhale sit lower

- Hold for 5-10 breaths

- To come out of the pose, inhale as you press into the 4 corners of feet and rise up, exhale and bring your arms down by your sides

Modifications and Variations

The higher your hips, the less intense the pose

You can place a block between your thighs and squeeze it (helps with internal rotation of the hips)

If you are tight through the shoulders and/or neck, bring your arms out wider and/or lower

If you want to work on leg strength, bring the legs together and squeeze them into each other

For more challenge, you can come onto the balls of your feet


Benefits of Chair Pose

  • Builds strength, stability and stamina
  • Strengthens the abdomen, lower back, thighs and ankles
  • Opens and stretches the chest and shoulders
  • Stimulates the heart and abdominal organ
  • Elongates the spine and promotes better posture
  • Calms the mind
  • Builds focus and concentration
  • Triggers the parasympathetic nervous system

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