Chair pose, also known as Utkatasana and Fierce Pose. This is the mother of all poses, in that it’s challenging and pushes us to dig deeper, both physically and mentally. This pose ignites a fire within and urges us to go beyond what we perceive as possible. The benefits of Chair Pose are much greater than toned thighs and glutes. You feel stronger and more powerful off the mat as a result of practicing this pose.
Practice Chair with a friend. It’s fun! 🙂
Chair Pose Utkatasana
- Set up your feet hip-width distance apart, place a block or a rolled up towel in between your thighs (a few inches above your knees). Or, bring your feet/knees/thighs to touch.
- With both feet firmly rooted, wiggle your toes to distribute your weight back toward your heels.
- Inhale, extend your arms overhead, sit your hips back and bend your knees.
- Draw your knees directly over your ankles and make sure you can see your toes, to properly stack your joints.
- Spin your pinkies forward and your thumbs back, to face your palms toward your midline.
- Lift your chest and draw your shoulder blades down your back.
- Continue to breath.
- Hug your naval toward your spine and tuck your tailbone down.
- Sink your hips deeper and activate your glutes.
- Take your gaze straight ahead while keeping a long neck.
- Hold and breathe for 5 or so rounds of breath.
Variations of Chair Pose include Figure Four Chair (pictured above) and Eagle Pose. Figure Four Chair requires both strength and balance. It also creates opening for the hip of the lifted leg. Eagle Pose, which we will explore down the road, is a balancing pose that works to strengthen as it constricts blood flow, (temporarily), eventually brining fresh blood to the body.
Chair Pose creates some serious heat in your body. It works many of the major muscle groups including your quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, glutes, abdominals, and shoulders. As your whole body works to support this posture, your heart rate quickens and your breath may become more labored and audible.
As with any physically challenging pose, your mind is also working just as hard to “cope”. In the case of Chair Pose, your mind may wander or may seek relief. When this happens, bring your attention to your breath. Connecting with your breath when you are confronted with a challenge is the key to staying calm, focused, and transcending perceived boundaries.
Chair Pose engages the muscles in your feet, legs, pelvic floor, abdominal wall, and spine. Thus, activating your first chakra, Muladhara, and your third chakra, Manipura. Your root chakra (Muladhara) is the first of 7 main chakras in the energetic body, located at the base of your spine. The color of this chakra is red. This chakra represents our most basic need for home, stability, safety, and connectedness.
Manipura chakra is located at the navel, just above the solar plexus. The lumbar spine (lower back) and abdominal wall are key players in this chakra. The color of this chakra is yellow. “Activation of the Manipura Chakra frees one from negative energies and purifies and strengthens one’s vitality.”
Intense, challenging postures such as Chair Pose encourage greater awareness and cultivate strength from within. Come back to your breath in chair and focus your attention inward. This helps you to become more present in the now. You will notice your mind and spirit are more calm and peaceful as a result.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 12/21/15
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens class – Coach Briana – Met Con Monday
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens class – Coach Joel – Met ConMonday
6AM Sunup Morga Womens only Class – Coach James – Met Con Monday
8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Jentry & Coach Joel – Met Con Monday
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – Met Con Monday
11:00AM Cytosport Bodyweight Training – Coach Joel (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport TRX Foundations – Coach Joel (private class)
2PM Cytosport Vinyasa Flow Yoga – Coach Michelle D (private class)