Chair Pose/Utkatasana

Chair Pose/Utkatasana

Chair Pose/Utkatasana

Chair Pose is a standing pose that strengthens your lower body and torso. This pose also stretches your shoulders and opens your chest.

Description:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, with your palms facing each other, shoulder width apart, shoulders and arms are straight but relaxed, elbows not locked, forging limbs.  Sternum lifted, shoulders blades down your back and away from ears.

Exhale as you bend your knees as if you were about to sit in a chair until you feel a comfortable strength in the front of your thighs. Do not lower your hips below your knees, keep our heels on the floor, tuck tailbone under to protect your lower back from arching and extend the waistline back.
Be mindful your knees do not extend past your toes and your knees are hip width apart but do keep your inner thighs pressed firmly against each other (you can use a block between)
Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling and gaze straight ahead.
Hold for 30-60 seconds, breath deeply, long and  steady.
As you come out of the pose, inhale while straightening legs, then exhale as you bring your arms back down to tour sides.

Physical Benefits:
Heat building.  Lengthens the spine. Strengthens the feet, ankles, calves, knees, buttocks and thighs. Opens the chest. Stimulates the digestive, circulatory and reproductive systems.

Mental Benefits:
Builds focus, develops willpower, stimulates the mind and reduces stress.

Counter Pose:
Standing Forward Bend/Uttanasana

Adaptations/Variations:
Hands can be on thighs which will ease strain in the lower back or arms extended in front of you for less strain on the shoulders and easier for balance.
For more of a stretch, interlace fingers above head, rotating wrist so the palms face the ceiling and stretch.
Pose can also be adapted to do with the tailbone touching the wall.
Twisting Chair/Utkatasana

Contra Indications:
Specific hip or knee problems (use a gentle version).
Low Blood pressure
Insomnia

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