Utkatasana Meaning, Steps, Benefits, Precautions and Contraindications

Meaning of Utkatasana

Utkatasna is a Sanskrit word pronounced as ‘OOT-kah-TAHS-anna’ wherein Utkata means ‘wild, intense, gigantic’ and asana means ‘yoga pose or posture’. It is just like sitting on an imaginary chair. The standing yoga pose, also known as the Chair pose, is where the practitioner squatts lower down onto the heels. The chair pose is highly beneficial for arm muscles, leg muscles, diaphragm, and heart. Here, we will discuss Chair pose, how to do it step by step, its health benefits and precautions and contraindications.

Chair pose

Variations of Utkatasana

  • Parivritta Utkatasana
  • Utkata Konasana

How to do Utkatasana step-by-step

It’s a simple and easy yoga pose. Its more straightforward step-by-step technique is mentioned below.

  • Stand in Tadasana.
  • Inhale; stretch your hands before your chest and move them up by the sides of your head.  
  • Exhale; bend the knees, push your pelvis down, and feel you are sitting in an imaginary chair.
  • Maintain the pose as long as you can by keeping your hands straight and stretched.
  • Inhale and come to the original position.

Top 10 Benefits of Utkatasana

  1. Legs strengthening: This pose is a boon for weak legs as it supports the ankles, knees, thighs, and calves.
  2. Knee pain and injuries: Practicing it regularly ensures the strengthening of knees thus helping to prevent knee pain and knee injuries.
  3. Thigh muscles: It has been observed that many people have feeble thigh and leg muscles. For them, it is one of the best yoga poses to strengthen the thighs and legs.
  4. Arms strengthening: The pose helps strengthen arms as the hands also play an essential role in performing it.
  5. Chest health: It is good for chest muscles and thus helps expand breath.   
  6. Shoulder strengthening: It is beneficial for the shoulders as it helps to make it healthy.
  7. Abdominal movements: It helps to stimulate the muscles of abdominal organs, thus good for the efficiency of abdominal organs.
  8. Diaphragm: The practice of utkatasana is also good for the health of the diaphragm.
  9. Heart: The stretching during the practice of the yoga pose helps to stimulate the cardiac muscles.
  10. Flat feet: It also prevents flat feet.

Contraindications and cautions

It shouldn’t be performed in case of

  • Chronic knee pain
  • Arthritis
  • Sprained ankle
  • In case of damaged ligaments
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Menstruation period


Preparatory pose

  • Virasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana

Follow-up pose

  • Tadasana
  • Uttanasana

Modification and Props 

The pose is quite effective for the strengthening of arms and especially the legs. To maintain the body’s weight, the leg muscles should be strong and muscular. The pose helps in this direction. However, to increase the efficiency of the carriage for making the legs sturdy, one can put blocks/books/balloons between the thighs.  

How the beginners should do

Maintaining the pose for a certain period is more challenging for everyone, especially for beginners. It is also difficult for those who have weak legs or fatty thighs. In these cases, one should perform it with the help of a wall. Stand a few inches from the wall so that when you bend while performing the pose, your tailbone should touch the wall for support.  


Different names of Utkatasana

  • Chair pose 
  • Wild pose
  • Lightning bolt pose
  • Awkward pose
  • Fierce pose
  • Hazardous pose
  • Intense pose
  • Powerful pose

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