Chair Pose (utkatasana) is a standing balance that builds leg strength and shoulder flexibility.
Do you like to pretend to sit in a chair without having a chair to actually sit in? Look no further. Grab your FeetUp Trainer and let's go!
- Utkata = powerful, fierce
Benefits of FeetUp Chair Pose
- Strengthens legs, back, and hips
- Helps to open chest and shoulder girdle (based on arm variations)
- Activates and strengthens feet (particularly arches)
- You'll always have a place to sit!
Precautions to Consider
- Chronic knee pain can be aggravated when going too deep or spending long periods of time here.
- High Blood Pressure may be challenged in certain variations when raising the arms overhead.
- When held for long periods of time, this pose tends to bring up anger and frustration in certain people.
Setting Up for FeetUp Chair Pose
You've got three basic foot positions to choose from:
- Feet parallel, hip distance apart
- Ball of the foot touching, heels apart (outside edge of feet parallel)
- Inside edges of feet touching / parallel
EXHALE: From standing, begin to bend your knees and lower you hips slowly as if sitting into a chair. If your feet are hip distance apart, your thighs don't have to be touching. From here, keep you arms extended down towards the ground.
INHALE: Slowly raise your arms out and upwards in line with your torso. Your hands do not have to touch. You don't need to lock out elbows. As your arms reach up, all you need to do is make sure to keep the shoulder blades remain low.
Imagine that the shape your body makes looks like someone who is super excited about the act of sitting down-- whoo hoo!
Alignment Points for Chair Pose
- Make sure knees and toes point in the same direction.
- Think "hips back" instead of "knees bend."
- Start with weight in the heels & spread toes to create an arch.
- Create a downhill slope (round) than of ski-jump (arch) in your tailbone (angle tailbone towards heels).
- Keep thighbones parallel with legs engaged
- Core active (navel drawing inward and up)
Entry variations with the FeetUp Trainer
FROM STANDING: Start with heels touching front of the trainer. As you begin to sit down, focus on keeping the heels grounded as you test the range of motion in your knees. Visualize the cushion as a soft landing pad in the event you feel wobbly.
FROM SEATED: Begin in a seated position with feet parallel and knees stacked above ankles. Explore using a forward fold and/or gentle rocking motions in your torso and arms to smoothly stand up into chair pose. Think about how you pour weight through your feet as this happens.
Want to Deepen the FeetUp Chair Pose?
Sit deeper. Try lifting one or both heels. Explore different arm variations. Add a twist or two. For an extra added super secret bonus, try closing your eyes. Enjoy the ride!
We'd love to know how this all works for you. Did you come up with any helpful tips, tricks, or insight that would help others?
Share in the comments below!