Utkatasana II, Chair Pose
Utkat is the Sanskrit word for raised or lifted. It is thus the lifting or rairing pose.
There is another version of Utkatasana in which you squat on your toes and place your buttocks onto your heels. This however is sitting on a chair without a chair.
How to perform Utkatasana II
Stand in Samasthiti, bend your knees and sit down as if you would sit on a chair. Keep your spine straight and do not let your knees go in front of your toes. You can raise your arms straight out in front of you or bring your palms together above your head.
Variation for Partner yoga
You can also do this exercise together with a partner. Stand in front of each other, hold each other’s hands and slowly sit down, holding each other’s weight with the stretched arms.
Benefits of Utkatasana II
Just try this exercise and repeat it a few times or hold it as long as you can and you will know exactly where it works. Your thigh muscles, buttocks and calves are working and get nicely toned through that. You will notice that after a while of regular practice, your legs will lose all extra thigh fat and get into a really nice shape.
Your back muscles also benefit and through your effort to keep yourself straight, this exercise is very good for your spine, too.
With this exercise you additionally strengthen your heart and lungs and improve your breathing power.
Provided you go into the right position, it is very good for your knee joints and it helps you to balance your body weight.
This is one of the poses always recommended to athletes and sportsmen and women.
Do not focus on your arm position. Your arms are used merely for balancing your body weight.
Instead you should focus on keeping your back straight and keeping your knees above or behind your toes.
Tips and Help
Beginners and people with weak knee joints can practice this pose against the wall.
When to avoid the Chair Pose
If you had or have an injury of your back, knees, hips or ankles, you should consult your doctor before performing this exercise. If you suffer from acute headache, heart problems or high blood pressure, please avoid this pose.