In sanskrit (the yoga language) this pose is called Utkatasana (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna)
Utkatasana: utkata = fierce · asana = pose
Fierce Pose, more commonly known as chair pose
Why the language lesson you ask? We tell you this because this pose is fierce! It works the strength in your thighs and arms, tones the abdomen, increases ankle mobility, and can stimulate the diaphragm and heart. This move will help to build stamina, stimulate the metabolic system, and build a lot of heat in the body. A LOT (so be careful about how long you hold this pose if you are hot blooded already!)
How to do it:
Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips. Find the center of balance in each foot - this will create the balance necessary to go deeper in this pose. Keep your weight evenly distributed between each foot.
Exhale as you bend your knees, sitting your seat back you as you sit low on an imaginary chair. When you can no longer maintain balance in your feet, stop bending your knees. Engage your legs and hips by gently pressing the legs toward each other.
Raise your arms in line with your ears, with your palms facing each other.
If your low back starts to overarch (you’ll feel a sensation of pinching or compression), draw your low ribs toward your hip points until you feel your pelvis level out. Just don’t overdo it.
Spread your upper back, rotating the armpits toward the midline, and widening across the chest. Stay for 5 to 10 breaths.
Use a wall for support: Stand a few inches from the wall (facing away). When you sit back into the position, your tailbone just touches and is supported by the wall.
Widen your stance: For easier balance step your feet hip width apart.
Shoulder pain: Put your hands on hips, reach arms forward, or press palms together in front of chest. Take the pressure out of your shoulders!
To Deepen the pose:
Challenge your balance: lift onto the balls of your toes.