Utkatasana poses received its name from Sanskrit origin and is commonly known as the balance pose in English. It is known by many names such as
● Chair Pose
● Fierce Pose
● Hazardous pose
● Lightning bolt pose
● Wild pose
● Or awkward pose in Bikram yoga.
Utkatasana is a standing pose in modern yoga, popularly known as the chair pose, or the squatting asana. Performing this asana is very simple and easy. It mainly improves concentration and body balance and strengthens the toes and ankles.
Steps To Do Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Keep the feet at hips width apart and stand straight with your arms reach out towards the
Slightly bend your upper body forward and your knees such that it makes a right angle
with your thighs.
Keep your legs and body straight.
Look straight up.
Shift all your body weight onto your toes and try to balance for as long as possible.
Join your palms together in a namaskar.
Continue breathing normally.
Maintain your gaze forward and refrain from looking at the ground.
Keep your neck straight.
How Does It Work?
All of us sit on chairs. But can you imagine sitting on an imaginary chair? Well, that is Utkatasana
for you. By performing this Asana, your body gains strength, stamina, and stability throughout.
When you squat, and the deeper you squat, the body goes against the gravity’s resistance for
which it has to exert its own pressure. This demands strength from the quadriceps which are
one of the largest muscles in the body. Strengthening of this muscle also helps overcome knee
pains and improves stamina while running as well.
This asana mainly focuses on the inner thigh strength and the calf muscles of the legs. Stay on
the pose for as long as you can and this durability will gradually increase the strength in your leg
muscles and make them stronger. Initially, you can take the support of a wall but gradually try to
balance on your feet for as long as you can. Continue breathing whilst you are in the pose.
Utkatasana, Chair Pose Benefits
● It increases the body strength manifold.
● The ankles, thighs, and calves become stronger and more durable as you continue to
practice this pose.
● It provides great action and stimulation to the digestive organs, the intestines, and the
diaphragm, improving respiration.
● Reduces the symptoms of flat feet.
● It helps in toning the leg muscles and getting rid of excess fat.
● It provides a great stretch for your chest and shoulders and energizes you.
● It improves body posture substantially and is great for the spine.
● Improves balance and control.
● It reduces stress and activates the svadhisthana chakra, the epitome of ease and
enjoyment present near the navel.
● It also strengthens your torso and lowers back if performed regularly.
● It is extremely beneficial to boost the immune system and helps relieve joint pains.
Things To Be Taken Care Of
● Get into and out of the pose slowly and not in a hurry as you might damage the ankle
● Gaze at a fixed point far away so as to maintain balance.
● Be aware of any existing knee or ankle injury that might get aggravated due to the
performance of this asana.
● Initially, to help in balancing, you can place your hand on the ground for additional
● Avoid this Asana if you are suffering from low blood pressure, arthritis, headache,
insomnia, chronic knee pain, worn out ligaments, sprain in the ankle, etc.
● If you have a lower back or shoulder injury, practice with great caution.
● Even while you are menstruating, make sure you do not overexert yourself as it will only
worsen the cramps in the abdomen and lower back.
● Be slow and steady while changing poses.
● If you feel dizzy or nauseous, gaze straight at a faraway point. If it doesn’t help, stop the
● You must perform the Asana only on an empty stomach like. There should be a
minimum of 4 to 6 hours of gap between meals and performing yoga. This is important to
ensure you have enough energy to spend while you are doing yoga and do not feel
lethargic. In fact, yoga is supposed to make you feel fresh and active.
Understanding The Asana
It is a challenging asana and you can well imagine it as sitting on an imaginary chair. It builds
focus, attention, concentration, and strength over a period of time. It is a very strong pose and
can be combined with various transitional poses to attain better results. Helps in toning the
body, especially the legs and inner thighs. There are many variations to this pose, which can be
practiced once you perfect the basic structure. It is a great addition to your daily yoga routine
and will have many health benefits in the long run.