Awkward Chair Pose

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Utkatasana

In Sanskrit, “utkata” means powerful and fierce and “asana” means yoga pose. I suggest that you mentally refer to this pose as the "Fierce Pose."  In yoga and life, we want to become more bold and fierce, and a little less awkward.

 

How to: Awkward Chair Pose    

Begin with Tadasana, or the Mountain Posture. While inhaling, lift the arms perpendicular to the ground. The arms should be aligned with each other, and your palms facing each other. You may also join them if you like.

While exhaling, bend the knees while trying to make your thighs parallel to the horizontal plane, or ground below. Your knees will begin to come out and your torso will also lean in front. A stage will come when your raised arms will be perpendicular to your thighs. Make sure your inner thighs are aligned to each other, while the head of your femurs, or the thigh bones should be pressing downwards.

Stiffen your shoulder blades against your back. Increase the length of your tailbone downwards toward the ground.

Remain in this position from 30 to 60 seconds. Inhale and gradually strighten your knees as you gracefully exit this pose and return to an upright position. Lift yourself strongly through your arms. While exhaling, relax your arms at your sides to come into Tadasana.

 

Benefits of the Awkward Chair Pose

Following are the important benefits of the Awkward Chair Pose when done on a regular basis:

  • Provides strength to the ankles, calves, thighs and spine.
  • Stretches the chest and shoulders.
  • Stimulates the functioning of the diaphragm, abdominal organs and heart.
  • Curbs and corrects the flat feet.

 

For newcomers to yoga, Utkatasana is quite effective in increasing the strength of thighs and legs. If you find the yoga pose difficult to execute, you can consider minding the following tip: you can stay longer in this pose by performing it near a vertical wall. Begin with standing next to a wall with your back a few inches away from it. Place yourself in a way so that when you bend, your tailbone is just supported on the wall.

For advanced yoga students or athletes, the Awkward Chair Pose is particularly beneficial in correcting the flat feet condition. You may deepen the pose by increasing the strength of your thighs. This can be done by inserting a thick block between them.

Avoid this pose or consult with your yoga teacher before attempting when you have the following conditions or ailments:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Low or high blood pressure

 

Feel the new, surging power in your thighs and legs as you come out of the Awkward Chair Pose.