Utkatasana: Chair Pose
This pose is often called ‘chair pose’ in English because it looks as if you are sitting in an invisible chair, but technically its name is Fierce Pose! The name Utkatasana comes from the Sanskrit word utkata, which means ‘fierce, proud, or difficult’. And asana, which means ‘posture, or pose’.
My teacher cringes whenever I call it chair pose! Hardly anyone knows it as Fierce Pose though, so I opt for calling it by its Sanskrit name – Utkatasana. Let’s break it down!
From Mountain Pose:
- Bend your knees deeply, as though you’re about to sit in a chair
- Send your hips back rather than your knees forward, so that you can still see your toes just past your knees when you look down
- Bring the weight into your heels (lifting the toes may help)
- Keep the back straight as you lean forward slightly from the hips
- Pull your pubic bone up towards your navel; tailbone points down (eliminate the booty pop!)
- Abdominals engaged; do not let the bottom ribs splay out
- Slide your shoulder blades down your back to draw the shoulders away from your ears; keep the neck long
- Smile 🙂
Options for arms:
- Raised, next to your ears, or slightly in front of your face; palms facing in
- Palms touching at heart center
- Straight out in front of you at shoulder height, palms facing up, down, or in
- Clasp your hands behind your back for a shoulder stretch (watch those ribs though)
Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
Strengthens the abdominal muscles and lower back
Stretches shoulders and chest
Improves confidence and focus
Prefer an Utkatasana Tutorial Video?
Scroll to the bottom and join me on the mat!