Utkatasana is often known as Chair Pose. The literal translation of the word “utkatasana” from Sanskrit is “powerful pose.” And a powerful pose it is. Here are some of the benefits it offers:
– strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
– realigns the joints of ankles, knees, hips and spine
– stretches shoulders and chest
– stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
– strengthens flat feet
– exercises spine, hips and chest muscles
– helps strengthen the back and lower torso
– good for lower back ache
– tones the thigh, ankle, leg and knee muscles
– balances the mind and brings determination
– good for stamina
‘Shortness in the latimuss dorsi will interfere with lifting the arms overhead. Overly arching the lumbar spine or overly flexing the hips can happen because of collapse into gravity. Using the hamstrings to draw the ischial tubeorosities (sits bones) forward or using the psoas minor to lift the pubic bone can prevent tipping the pelvis too far forward without necessary affecting the alignement of the spine.
The knees are very mobile in this position because they are partly flexed. Gravity, rather than muscles working against each other, should be the main source of resistance in the pose. This is an interesting pose to explore a balance between effort and release.’
Who said sitting for extended periods is not very good for you? You just need to use an imaginary chair.
Source: Yoga Anatomy; Amy Matthews & Leslie Kaminoff