Asana Lab: Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

Alignment points for Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

Alignment points for Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

This month's featured pose is Utkatasana, or, Chair Pose (sometimes referred to as Fierce Pose). From talking to a lot of students in our teacher training, I'm going to fondly refer to it as 'fierce' pose right now because it definitely brings up some strong opinions.

Some love this pose for its fierceness: they feel strong and grounded at the same time. Others are not as fond of the pose: it burns in the thighs! It's hard to open the chest. Some just aren't sure what they should be doing/feeling in the pose.

Well, I hope these alignment tips help you play around in the pose and move in the direction of a fierce pose that feels good! I've been coming into my chair from forward fold and love how engaged it feels.

Here's a step-by-step:

  1. Start in your standing forward fold with legs together
  2. Begin to bend your knees and sit your hips back and down (keep your belly close to your thighs).
  3. Squeeze the inner knees and sweep the arms alongside the ears so you come into your half chair pose.
  4. Strongly pull the front body towards the back body with an exhale (ribs pull back to the spine).
  5. Use your steady gaze and steady breath to hold for a few breaths and notice how you are experiencing the pose here.
  6. Keep the engagement in your belly/rib cage area and sweep the arms up to full chair.

Have fun with it. It's all an experiment, so play around with it and wiggle around in it to find a sweet(er) spot. If you have any questions or just want to tell me how it goes, shoot me an email.