What is Utkatasana?
Before we talk about Utkatasana steps and benefits, it is important to know the basic information about this asana and Utkatasana meaning.
Also known as the Chair Pose, Utkatasana gets its name from Sanskrit words ‘utkata’ meaning intense and ‘asana’ meaning posture. This is a posture cited in the modern yoga texts and is said to have evolved from a seated-squatting pose known as Upaveshasana. It is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Awkward Pose’ in Bikram Yoga.
Utkatasana yoga pose symbolises stability and strength and is an important standing asana that brings your body together as a composite whole.
As a deep squat, the Chair Pose Yoga works on your quadriceps, hamstrings, erector spinae, ankles, calves, pelvic region, outer thighs, and shoulders.
Who should do Utkatasana?
Now that you know Utkatasana meaning, it is also important to know about the categories of people who can do Utkatasana:
- Pregnant women who are in the early stages of pregnancy.
- People who want to build strength and stability.
- Those who want to reduce stress.
Who should avoid Utkatasana?
People who have any of these conditions must never do Utkatasana yoga pose without talking to their doctor first:
- Neck, hip, spinal, ankle or shoulder injury
- High or low blood pressure
- Weak back
- Chronic knee pain
- Respiratory complications
- Recent surgery
- Chronic headaches or migraine
How is Utkatasana done?
Though the Utkatasana yoga pose looks like a simple pose, just like any yoga asana, you need to perfect its form to gain its benefits.
Here is a detailed explanation of how to do the Utkatasana chair pose:
- To start the Utkatasana pose, Stand straight keeping your feet hip-width apart.
- Stretch your arms ahead with your palms facing downward. Do this without bending your elbows.
- Bend your knees slowly and lower your body as if you are going to sit in a chair.
- Hold the imaginary seated pose for 20-30 seconds while inhaling and exhaling deeply. Your spine should be straight and lengthened.
- Gently release the pose and return to the starting Utkatasana pose.
What are the variations of Utkatasana?
- Ardha Utkatasana: Also known as the Half Chair Pose, this is a great variation of Utkatasana Chair Pose that helps improve your strength and flexibility. It also brings more awareness to the ‘self’ and regulates your emotions. Here is how this asana is done:
- Stand straight while keeping your feet hip-width apart.
- Stretch your arms ahead. Your palms must be facing each other.
- Keeping your feet parallel, bend your knees slowly.
- Lean your torso forward so that it becomes parallel to the ground.
- Remember to bend your knees deeper than the traditional Utkatasana.
- Parivritta Utkatasana: Also known as the Twisted Chair Pose, this is a challenging intermediate level variation of the Chair Pose that opens up your chest, shoulders, and core. Here is how the Twisted Chair Pose is done:
- Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your hands in front of your chest in the Namaskar gesture.
- Slowly turn your shoulder to the right side while keeping your hips or knees stable.
- Place your left elbow on your right knee and bend your chest towards the right.
- You can press your hands into each other to stabilise yourself.
- Keep your gaze straight while breathing deeply.
- Draw your shoulders together and hold the pose for 50-60 seconds.
- Exhale deeply and return to the starting position.
Why should you do Utkatasana?
Utkatasana is one of the most effective standing yoga poses that have a tremendous impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Here is a roundup of some of the best reasons to include Chair Pose Yoga in your workout routine:
- This is one of the best yoga asanas for weight loss. It helps improve your metabolism and helps burn calories faster. This gives you a toned appearance and prevents the risk of obesity-related health problems like heart diseases, diabetes, and kidney issues.
- As one of the most effective asanas of yoga for flexibility and strength, it not just strengthens and activates your lower body, but also your arms, chest, and shoulders.
- One of the most important Utkatasana benefits is that it stimulates your chest muscles and makes them stronger. It prevents the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
- An important Chair Pose yoga benefit is that it activates and strengthens your respiratory organs. This helps prevent and manage conditions like asthma, shortness of breath, and COPD.
- One of the best Utkatasana benefits is that it enhances your circulation. This lets your organs function optimally and enhances your immunity.
- One of the most effective Chair Pose benefits is for people who get frequent leg pains. By activating your leg muscles, the circulation is boosted, and you alleviate leg pain and stiffness.
- Improving your balance and coordination is one of the most important Chair Pose benefits. This is essential to prevent falls and injuries and lead a functional life.
- Reducing stress and anxiety and helping regulate your emotions is one of the best Chair Pose yoga benefits. It helps you attain peace and respond better to the triggers of stress.
- Utkatasana Chair Pose is a great exercise for improving your focus and concentration.home workout
- Since it is a simple asana that doesn’t require an elaborate set-up, you can easily include it in your home workouts.
How to do Utkatasana safely?
Now that you know Utkatasana steps and benefits, here are some things to keep in mind while doing the Utkatasana yoga pose:
- Don’t practise this asana on your own to prevent injuries. Learn it from an experienced trainer or by joining online yoga classes.
- Never overstretch your body.
- If you feel pain at any time while doing this asana, stop immediately.
Utkatasana Chair Pose is an excellent addition to everyone’s workout regime and has holistic benefits for your health. The key to attaining these benefits is to keep yourself challenged and motivated and be consistent with your practice.