Utkatasana, Chair Pose, Fierce Pose, Hazardous Pose, Lightning Bolt Pose, Wild Pose, or in Bikram Yoga, Awkward Pose, is an asana. Sanskrit: Utkat – Wild/Fierce, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – OOT-kah-TAHS-anna
How easy it is to sit on a chair! But when you sit on an imaginary chair, it could be quite challenging. This asana is all about sitting on that imaginary chair. Utkatasana translates into an intense or powerful pose. This asana is also called the Chair Pose, the Powerful Pose, the Awkward Pose, and the Fierce Pose.
Everything You Need To Know About The Utkatasana
1. What You Must Know Before You Do The Asana
2. How To Do Utkatasana
3. Precautions And Contraindications
4. Beginner’s Tip
5. Advanced Pose Variation
6. The Benefits Of The Chair Pose
7. The Science Behind The Utkatasana
8. Preparatory Poses
9. Follow-Up Poses
What You Must Know Before You Do The Asana
You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.
It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.
Duration: 30 – 60 seconds
Stretches: Shoulders, Thorax
Strengthens: Thighs, Vertebral Column, Ankles, Calves
How To Do Utkatasana
- Stand straight on your mat and place your feet slightly apart.
- Stretch your arms forward, ensuring that your palms are facing downwards. Your arms must be straight, and you must make sure not to bend your elbows.
- Gently bend your knees and push down your pelvis, such that it seems like you are seated in an imaginary chair.
- Make yourself comfortable. To engage better in the pose, imagine reading a newspaper as you hold the pose. And as you do that, you must make sure that your hands are parallel to the floor.
- Be aware as you hold the pose, and keep your spine lengthened. Calm your mind and relax. Smile. Now hold the pose for up to a minute.
- Gently go down and sit in Sukhasana.
Precautions And Contraindications
These are some points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.
- This asana must be avoided if you are suffering from the following problems:
b. Low blood pressure
e. A sprained ankle
f. Chronic knee pain
g. Damaged ligaments
- You must take care while practicing this asana if you have a lower back pain, a shoulder injury, or if you are menstruating.
- You have to stay in this pose and go down only until your body can retain the natural lumbar curve.
- In case you have a neck pain, or you feel dizzy while you are in the asana, make sure you look straight and set your gaze forward.
As a beginner, it can be quite challenging to hold the pose for a long time. You can use the support of a wall as you start off. Just stand a few inches away from the wall so that when you bend, the tailbone touches the wall.
Advanced Pose Variation
To intensify the pose, lift your body as you stand on the balls of your feet when you are in the pose. Drop your buttocks down on the raised heels. Your arms must be placed forward, parallel to each other and the floor, with your palms facing downwards.
The Benefits Of The Chair Pose
These are some amazing benefits of Utkatasana.
- Practicing this asana gives the hips, spine, and chest muscles a good stretch.
- The torso and lower back are strengthened.
- This asana tones the legs, especially the muscles in the knee, the ankles, and the thighs.
- Regular practice imparts a sense of balance in the body and great determination to the mind.
- This asana gives the abdominal organs a good massage and also stimulates the diaphragm and the heart.
- With regular practice, you could lose weight, especially from the buttocks.
- This asana strengthens your immune system and also helps relieve joint pains and back pains.
The Science Behind The Utkatasana
This asana, as the name suggests, is both fierce and powerful, owing to what each and every part of your body tries to achieve while in this pose. As you sit in this imaginary chair, your body seeks strength and stamina and also imparts a sense of stability throughout.
As you squat in this pose and eventually deepen the squat, your body will need to overcome gravity’s resistance. For this, your quadriceps need to be very strong. Incidentally, the quadriceps are one among the biggest muscles in the body. When this muscle is strong or strengthened, knee problems are automatically combatted as it supports the knees. Just be gentle with your bones as you lower yourself in this asana.
Adho Mukha Svanasana