Utkatasana (The Chair Pose)
Mentally affirm while doing this pose:
"My body is no burden; it is light as air."
Stand up straight with legs apart and parallel.
Innhale and raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height with your palms facing up, as if slowly lifting something. Simultaneously rise up on your toes.
Now, exhale and crouch down as if sitting on a chair - but keep in mind that you are so light that you need no chair to sit upon. Push your heels into the ground and bend your knees as much as is comfortable. Try to keep your spine straight and bend at the hips while you sit on the air.
Finish by inhaling as you rise back up to a standing position.
Uktata means powerful, fierce, might or uneven. This pose:
- builds power and lightness in the body.
- creates balance while stretching the calves and Achilles tendon and strengthening the thighs and back muscles.
- increases mobility of the hips, ankles and knees.
- aids digestion and bowel movements, and massages the heart and lungs through movement of the diaphragm.
- relieves tired feet and gives the mind a sense of lightness and vitality, as well as a freedom from the downward currents of the earth.
To deepen the pose (do not continue if your balance becomes unsteady)
- Instead of returning to a standing position at the end of the pose, try keeping your spine straight while lowering yourself down until you are in a squatting position.
- Bring your hands (palms facing upward) to rest on your upper thighs.
- Push back up into the chair position and then back to standing.
Awareness of Tension
Stretch into a pose only a little bit. If you experience any pain besides light muscle tension, do not continue. Each pose is a practice in awareness; instead of pushing your limits, be aware of where the tension lies that keeps you from going further. Concentrate on releasing that tension, rather than pushing through it physically. To release the tension, imagine space at the points of strain.
Don't be discouraged if a pose is difficult to do at first. By gradually working on a pose, you will become a master of it when your body and mind are naturally ready.