Utkatasana (Chair Pose) and modifications explained through visualization
Yoga

How to practice: Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

By: Delight Yoga

Utkatasana, or Chair Pose, is the third posture in the Primary Series of the Astanga Vinyasa yoga system. The Primary Series is said to be the most demanding because it is the first series you learn as a beginner - and every beginning is hard. It is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning Yoga Therapy. It is a series for cleansing and healing the body.

The Primary Series sets the foundation for all of the following postures. If you look superficially, it may seem as if the Primary Series is the easiest of the six series in the Astanga Vinyasa System, but in fact, it is the most demanding. It is here that you start your practice, where you get used to the breath and Vinyasas, and to your daily yoga practice.

How to practice- Utkaṭāsana (Chair Pose).jpeg

Utkatasana Instructions

  1. ekam
    Inhale, raise arms overhead, palms together
    Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (angusthamadhye)

  2. dve
    Exhale, fold forward, hands to ground
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  3. trini
    Inhale, lift head, lengthen the spine
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  4. catvari
    Exhale, hands down, float back, elbows close to chest (Caturanga Dandasana)
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  5. panca
    Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  6. sat
    Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms
    Dhristi: to the navel (nabicakre)

  7. sapta
    Inhale, jump forward, bend knees, place feet between the hands, arms up, palms together

    5 breaths, Utkatasana
    Dhristi: to the middle of the thumb (angusthamadhye)

  8. astau
    Inhale, hands to floor, knees stay bend, lift legs up
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  9. nava
    Exhale, jump back to Caturanga Dandasana
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

  10. daza
    Inhale, roll on tops of feet, open the chest, straighten arms
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  11. ekadasa
    Exhale, roll over the toes, push back, lift hips, straight arms
    Dhristi: to the navel (nabicakre)

  12. dvadasa
    Inhale, jump feet between hands, lengthen the spine, lift your head up
    Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrumadhye)

  13. trayodasa
    Exhale, head to knees
    Dhristi: to the nose (nasagre)

    Inhale, stand all the way up, arms on sides, Samasthitih, exhale
    Dhristi : to the nose (nasagre)

Utkaṭasana Benefits

  • Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves and spine

  • Stretches shoulders and chest

  • Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart

  • Reduces fat around the waist

  • Reduces flat feet

  • Used therapeutically for back and spine problems and rheumatism

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