What is chair pose yoga?
- Chair Yoga pose is also known as Utkatasna in Sanskrit. Utkatasana comprises two words: Utkata means ‘intense’, and Asana means ‘Yoga posture’.
- Utkatasana is also pronounced as ‘OOT-kah-TAHS-anna’.
- Yoga chair pose is just like an imaginary chair pose.
- Utkatasana is also known as Chair yoga pose or chair pose yoga, chair yoga poses, chair pose, or simply chair pose.
- Chair pose yoga is known for many health benefits like strengthening arm muscles and enhancing the flexibility of leg muscles, diaphragm, and heart health; it is also associated with some contraindications.
How to do Chair yoga poses step by step
- First of all, stand in Mountain pose.
- Do inhale and move your arms up by the sides of your head and touch the ears.
- The arms should be straight and stretched up.
- Exhale; bend your knees and push your pelvis down, just like the picture of the chair pose.
- Try to hold the pose as long as you can maintain.
- While maintaining the pose, do slow inhaling and exhaling.
- Inhale and come to the original position, i.e. Tadasana.
Benefits of Yoga chair pose (Utkatasana)
- The chair pose yoga is vital in strengthening ankles, knees, thighs, and calves. Thus, those who have knee & ankle pain and also desire solid legs should practice it.
- If you want to eliminate knee pain, you should practice Utkatasana with a yoga teacher.
- The twisted chair pose helps expand and contract the diaphragm, enhancing the lungs’ capacity. Regular practice will support in maintaining good health of the lungs and oxygen supply of the body.
- It enhances abdominal efficiency, thus improving the functional capacity of the various digestive organs.
- If you want robust thigh muscles, this is the best yoga pose to bet upon. Therefore, Utkatasana yoga is considered one of the best poses with weak thighs, calves and leg muscles.
- If somebody does the pose chair regularly and maintains the pose for a certain period by giving suitable stretch to the abdominal sides, it helps shed fat from the body, thus ideal for weight loss.
- A large number of people are having flat feet problems. The practice of chair position yoga helps to overcome this issue.
- The advanced chair pose helps to energise and stimulate the internal organs like the lungs, heart, pancreas, etc., thus suitable for the efficiency and health of these body parts.
- The Utkatasana chair pose also makes your arms solid. Despite Gym, you can focus on the technique of yoga stretch chair to strengthen your arms and shoulders.
- Chair yoga poses are also beneficial for hips. It helps to shed extra fat from this area, too.
There are some precautions and side effects while performing chair pose variations.
Contraindications of yoga chair pose
- Utkatasana shouldn’t be performed in case of knee pain and knee injuries.
- Chair yoga poses for seniors should be performed with utmost care and only in the presence of a yoga teacher.
- Arthritis patients shouldn’t practice it.
- Those with sprained ankles shouldn’t perform chair twist yoga.
- It should be avoided in case of damaged ligaments and tendons.
- Twisted chair pose should also be avoided in case of headache, insomnia, low blood pressure, and menstruation.
Chair pose modification and props
Utkatasana is one of the best yoga poses for flexibility and strengthening. Though the chair pose yoga seems easy to perform, it’s not so while performing it. The chair pose makes your legs and arms sturdy, but to maintain and perform initially, these body parts should be reasonably resilient. To master the carriage, one should take the help of ropes, blocks, balloons, etc. Props are generally used in the case of Iyengar yoga chair poses.
Chair yoga poses for beginners
The beginners shouldn’t start all of a sudden to perform Utkatasana. Initially, it should begin with chair pose variations. Initially, one should start with straightforward chair yoga while sitting on a chair. Significantly, the seniors should do sitting chair yoga poses. Do take the help of a wall while performing the pose. After a certain period, one can achieve even a one-legged chair pose, revolved chair pose, inversion yoga chair, ardha utkatasana, etc.
Variations of chair pose
- Parivritta Utkatasana
- Utkata Konasana
- Twisting chair
- Revolved chair pose
- Inversion yoga chair
6 surprising Facts about chair pose
- Utkatasana is suitable for developing your endurance and stamina.
- Pregnant women should practice it, keeping their feet reasonably apart.
- To get the best benefits of it, thighs should be parallel to the floor.
- Your weight should be on your heels.
- While performing the pose, the thighs should be close to each other.
- Forming a little bit of arch in the back is advisable.
The science behind chair pose yoga
The muscles which are engaged while performing utkatasana are the Extensor digitorum, triceps, Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, Erector spinae, Gluteus medius, Hamstrings, Soleus, Serratus anterior, Rectus abdominis, Quadriceps and Tibialis anterior. The joints involved during the yoga chair pose are Shoulder flexion, elbow extension, forearm supination, axial extension in the spine, hip and knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion.