What is chair pose yoga?
- Chair Yoga pose is also known as Utkatasna in Sanskrit. The word Utkatasana comprises of 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 or chair yoga poses or yoga chair pose or simply chair pose.
- The chair pose yoga is known for many health benefits like strengthening of arm muscles, enhancing flexibility of legs muscles, diaphragm, and heart health, etc. It is also associated with some contraindications too.
How to do Chair yoga pose step by step
- First of all, stand in Mountain pose.
- Do inhaling and move your arms up by the sides of your head and touching the ears.
- The arms should be straight and stretched up.
- Exhale; bend your knees and push your pelvis down just like the picture of chair pose given here.
- Try to hold the pose as long as you can maintain.
- While maintaining the pose, do slow inhaling and exhaling.
- Inhale, and come to original position i.e. Tadasana.
Benefits of Yoga chair pose (Utkatasana)
- The chair pose yoga plays an important role for the strengthening of ankles, knees, thighs, and calves. Thus, those who have knees & ankles pain and also desired solid legs should practice it.
- If you wanted to get rid of knee pain, you should practice Utkatasana in the presence of a yoga teacher.
- The twisted chair pose helps to expansion and contraction of diaphragm thereby enhances the capacity of lungs. The regular practice will help in maintaining good health of lungs and oxygen supply of the body.
- It enhances abdominal efficiency thus improves the functional capacity of the various digestive organs.
- If you wanted strong and robust thigh muscles, this is the best yoga pose to bet upon. Therefore, Utkatasana yoga is considered as one of the best yoga poses who are having weak thighs, calves and legs muscles.
- If somebody do the pose chair on regular basis and maintains the pose for a certain period of time by giving suitable stretch to abdominal sides, it helps to shed fat from the body thus good for weight loss too.
- 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 energizes and stimulates the internal organs like lungs, heart, pancreas, etc., thus good for the efficiency and health of these body parts.
- Utkatasana chair pose also makes your arms solid and strong. In spite of Gym, you can focus on the technique of yoga stretch chair to make your arms and shoulder stronger.
- 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 senior, it should be performed with utmost care and only in the presence of yoga teacher.
- Arthritis patients shouldn’t practice it.
- Those who are having sprained ankle, 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 during menstruation period.
- Mountain pose
- Ardha Chakrasana
- Triangle pose
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Viprita Karni
- Shoulder stand yoga
Chair pose modification and props
Utkatasana is one of the best yoga poses for the overall flexibility and strengthening the body. Though the chair pose yoga seems easy to perform, but it’s not so while performing it. The practice of chair pose makes your legs and arms sturdy but to maintain and perform initially, these body parts should be reasonably resilient. To have mastery over the pose, one should take help of ropes, blocks, balloons, etc. Props are generally used in 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 start with chair pose variations. In the beginning, one should start with easy chair yoga while seating on chair. Especially, the seniors should do sitting chair yoga pose. Do take the help of wall while performing the pose. After certain period of time, one able to perform even 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 good to develop your endurance and stamina.
- Pregnant women should practice it keeping her 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 arch in the back is advisable.
The science behind chair pose yoga
The muscles, which are engaged while performing utkatasana are Extensor digitorum, triceps, Deltoid, Infraspinatus, Teres minor, Erector spinae, Gluteus medius, Hamstrings, Soleus, Serratus anterior, Rectus abdominis, Quadriceps and Tibialis anterior. The joints, which are involved during yoga chair pose are Shoulder flexion, elbow extension, forearm supination, axial extension in spine, hip and knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion.