Feeling cold or tired and want to create some inner fire?
Want to strengthen all the major muscles of your body in one pose?
Need to build focus and confidence before learning something new?
Be Fierce in Chair Pose!
Chair Pose, also known as Fierce Pose, is tremendously energizing and strengthening. Perfect for a mid-day brain-break or focusing activity, try holding chair for at least 10 counts while breathing deeply in and out through your nose. Combine with a forward fold and mountain pose (Mountain => Chair => Forward Fold => Mountain) for a full body mini-sequence.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana) improves balance while strengthening ankles, legs, glutes and core. It also opens the chest and shoulders while building lots of heat and focus.
How To: Chair Pose
Stand tall in mountain with your feet together
Bend your knees and bring weight to heels, guiding the knees behind the toes
Reach arms up alongside ears, while relaxing your shoulders down the back
Firm naval, lift the chest and gaze forward
Stay and breathe for 10 counts
Tips for Mastering Chair Pose:
Root down evenly through both feet. Notice if the weight is shifting right or left and keep it centered over both feet. Draw the knees behind the heels to increase strengthening in the legs, glutes and core.
If your shoulders or neck feel tense try widening your arms into a “V” or bring arms forward, parallel to the floor.
Focus your drishti (gaze) forward on one spot and then soften your gaze and relax your face and jaw.
Bring your awareness to your breathing and find calm and stillness as you work in this pose.
Count down to fun by turning your chair into a Rocket Ship!
Kid-friendly Variations for Chair Pose:
Build even more heat and core strength by adding a twist to your chair. Draw hands together at your heart and lift your chest into your thumbs. Keep your spine long as you twist to your right, placing your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh. If it doesn’t quite reach, you can bring your elbow to the space in between your thighs instead.
Watch those hips! When we twist to the right, often the left hip will drift forward. You can check this by looking down to see if your knees are still in one line. Gently draw your left hip back to maintain a neutral pelvis and bring the twist more into your torso and spine.
Keep the hips below the heart when twisting as well. Sit your hips down and back as you continue to lengthen your spine and crown forward. Once all of that feels spacious and supported, you can play with Extended Revolved Chair, opening your arms and reaching for the floor and the sky. If that shifts your foundation, bring your hands back together and continue to build your strength and flexibility.
Chair Pose is perfect to pretend you are traveling by bus, car or any mode of transportation you sit on. Add the twist to wave to friends as you pass by. Kids also love it when we widen our feet to make a motorcycle and bend our knees to bounce up and down over potholes!
How do you use chair pose in your kids yoga practice?
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