Powerful Posture pose (Utkatasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Utkatasana (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna) is intense posture or powerful posture that strengthening your legs, open chest and arms, improves the health of your diaphragm and stimulates your heart. It is also a part of Sun Salutations B (Surya Namaskar B).
Utkatasana’s name comes from the Sanskrit utkata, which means “fierce, proud, superior, and asana = posture/pose.
This pose is often called “chair pose” in English because it looks as if you are sitting in an invisible chair.
Technical details and how to start:
- Stand in Samasthiti, heels together, big toes touching, heels slightly apart.
- Inhale, squat, bend your knees with your knees over your feet and go into half standing and half sitting position.
- Bring your torso and arms slightly of the vertical and lean slightly forward, and suck the lower belly in and up to support your lower back.
- Draw your shoulder blades gently toward each other and down.
- Soften your shoulders away from your ears.
- Lengthen through your tailbone and in that way your lower back to stay long.
- Hold the pose for five breaths then release.
- Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
- Stretches shoulders and chest
- Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm and heart
- Reduces flat feet
- Tones the leg muscles.
- Use a block or rolled up towel to squeeze it between your legs to make them stronger.
- Keep the weight even on the feet
- Avoid if you have low blood pressure or an injury to your hips, knees, or back.
- For people with balance problems I recommend to do this pose near a wall or hold onto something to stabilize yourself if required.
- If in doubt about your medical condition check with your health practitioner before you start doing it.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.