Chair Pose In Yoga 101: Benefits & 9 Very Easy Steps—Sweatbox
Student bending the knee straight forward and backward

Look no further if you wish to strengthen your legs and buttocks. Utkatasana develops the arm and leg muscles while also stimulating the abdomen and heart. The chair pose is, without a doubt, the real deal.

The chair pose reflects endurance, persistence, and commitment to yoga. It requires flawless coordination of arms, legs, and torso stamina while lifting the abdominal muscles and lengthening your spine. Every posture is also beneficial to both the entire body and the mind.

Even if you are just getting started with yoga, you are most likely learning the yoga poses. The chair pose will allow you to practice in varying ways throughout many traditional yoga styles, but it is also one that even beginners can do. If you’re interested in practising Utkatasana, we’ll show you how to do it correctly.

What Is Chair Pose?

Utkatasana, otherwise known as Chair Pose, is a standing yoga posture that stimulates the body, especially the thigh muscles. It’s a powerful position for your thighs, and it keeps the heart racing fast. Utkatasana may appear simple, yet it quickly activates the legs, back, and feet. The position requires physical strength and stamina and concentrates on breathing and the psyche. Utkatasana, in essence, tells you how and where to locate the power base in the pelvis while working the centre of your body.

Some of the basic body principles of the various positions are maintained. However, a few improvements allow yoga to be suitable for individuals with limited mobility or who require acute therapeutic regimens.

The chair pose is also a vital component of the Sun Salutations routine. It’s frequently used as a transitional stance, which also signifies that it builds up the muscles engaged over the next pose.

The Core Benefits of the Chair Pose/Utkatasana

Although the chair pose appears to be an uncomfortable position, it has numerous health benefits. It improves the shoulders, pelvis, glutes, and back while developing the legs and ankles. For flat feet, it is a therapeutic stance. The chair pose stimulates the heart and abdominal organs while lifting the chest and stretching the shoulders.

Moreover, keeping this position with the arms lifted for several breaths develops the shoulder and back muscles. While Utkatasana targets particularly the thighs, the abdomen is also toned to provide balance for the upper body. It also works to promote pelvic engagement.

Generally, the pose generates a significant amount of heat in the body quickly. It also activates both circulation and metabolism processes by increasing the heart rate while you take the stance for continuous breaths.

How to Do the Chair Pose?

In a yoga session, the chair pose is indeed physically and mentally complicated. The position may appear simple, but maintaining it is the difficult part. However, we’ve put together a step-by-step instructions to help you perform this pose effectively.

Step 1

Begin with the mountain pose, popularly known as tadasana. Standing with your feet and knees together would be an excellent way to start. Readjust by getting your feet hip-width apart to provide stability if you’re a beginner.

Step 2

Inhale while raising your arms overhead, ensuring that they are parallel to the ground.

Step 3

Bend your knees until your thighs are flat on the ground on an exhale. Your knees must be hanging over your toes, and you should be putting your weight on the soles of your feet, about 80% of your entire weight. Expand your chest and gently lean your torso, creating a perfect angle between your thighs.

Step 4

Bring your elbows towards your ears while pulling your shoulders back to your back. Push your navel up rather than expand your rib cage to work your deeper obliques and extend your lower back muscles and spine.

Step 5

Raise yourself up with your heart while lowering your hips even further. Your upper back will flex somewhat as a result of this.

Step 6

Considering breathing is so crucial in these poses, keep in mind your breathing is calm, profound, and stable during this period. If your breathing is becoming tight or shallow, simply back out of the pose and continue once they have returned to normal.

Step 7

As your arms are elevated in the first step, maintain your shoulder blades apart. Your palms should be facing one another.

Step 8

Maintain a forward gaze. You can, however, bend your head up forward towards the gap between your outstretched hands to intensify the pose.

Step 9

Hold this position until approximately a minute. After that, take a deep breath and straighten your knees while lifting yourself with your arms. Return to the mountain stance after exhaling. If you’re doing the Sun Salutations routine, you have to do the standing forward fold, or Uttanasana, after the chair pose.

5 Chair Pose Variations to Try in Your Yoga Routine

Chair Cat-Cow Stretch

Sit in a chair with your feet on the ground and your spine long. Put your hands on the tops of your knees or thighs. Bend your spine and roll your shoulders straight down on an inhalation, lowering your shoulders back. When you exhale, curve your spine and lower your chin to your chest, allowing your shoulder and head to move forward. Keep switching between the cow and cat positions as you go through the pattern.

Chair Forward Bend

Extend your arms forward on an exhale to form a forward bend from over your legs. When they touch the floor, let your hands rest there. Allow your head to dangle freely. Lift your arms back over the head on an inhale. Repeat this movement along with the breath.

Chair Pigeon

Bring yourself back to a sitting position. Lift your right ankle to lay on your left thigh, placing your left foot near your ankle. To make the exercise more intense, undertake a forward bend.

Chair Spinal Twist

Move to a sideways position on the chair, with your back to the left. To do a spinal twist, turn your torso to the left while grabbing onto the back of the seat. Extend your spine, twist every exhale, and change sides after five breaths on each inhalation.

Chair Savasana

Close your eyes and sit tall. Stay in this stance for several minutes, as this seated asana will allow your body to absorb the benefits of the postures you’ve done and integrate them throughout your day.

Tips for Practising the Chair Pose

The chair pose is an excellent technique to enhance your entire body when done correctly. Yet, some people may find it difficult to slowly build considerable strength to hold the stance for even a moment. Need not feel obligated to perform the posture correctly the first time. Give it your best shot learning it as directed by your yoga teacher, but don’t overstretch your legs or shoulders. Fortunately, when you practise this posture on your yoga mats, make sure to keep things into consideration:

  • Keep your back in a little arch.

  • Push your thighs as close as possible to the ground.

  • Instead of stretching your torso out, pull your chest up and back.

  • Sustain your balance by shifting your weight on your heels. Transferring your weight forward can put a lot of strain on your knees and make you tired soon.

  • Push your thighs together as tightly as possible.

  • All through the position, try to breathe gently and evenly. You will feel that your heart rate will rise, but if you find yourself gasping for air, slow down until you can retake deep breaths.

The Power of Utkatasana

It’s time to incorporate the chair pose into your fitness regime now since you understand how to do it appropriately. It’s a great and healthful supplement that will produce positive outcomes. Utkatasana strengthens the body’s endurance, stamina, mental fortitude, stress management, and core muscles. 

Take it step by step, keep your alignment straight, and find a variety of modifications to this powerful pose that suits you best. Then, with such a fierce pose, reap the health benefits of your practice as you sign up for yoga studio in Singapore!

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.