Utkatasana like many Asanas or Yoga postures goes by a few different names. The Traditional Sanskrit name Utkatasana, or Chair Pose as we call it here in the west, is also called Awkward pose, with the literal translation being “Powerful or Fierce Pose.”
utkata = powerful, fierce
asana = body position, posture, or Yoga position
Benefits: Strengthens and tones leg muscles and buttocks, relieves sciatica, good for digestion, improves overall body strength
We’ve made it past January, with our intentions and goals set. We’ve realigned and refocused for the upcoming year. Now its time to put those things in motion. Its time to be fierce or “powerful” in taking the confidence and happiness we’ve manifested to the next level with intention.
The second Asana (position) in the Fearless Warrior I yoga flow is Utkatasana. Its not an easy pose but its best in the beginning to get understanding and appreciation for our body’s strengths and weakness. Utkatasana teaches us that we are up for the challenge, that we can reach goals even if it is challenging. It will teach us to take care of our practice to be mindful of areas that need strengthening and patience. The courage built from a few moments spent in “Fierce Pose” can be taken off the mat and into the trappings of our daily lives.
Don’t be discouraged! Nothing can get in the way of you taking on 2010 the way you’ve envisioned! And after while you’ll have nice firm butt & thighs to boot! You are utkata!
1. Start in Tadasana (see January issue for tadasana instruction-transformativechange.org) Inhale and raise your arms up and out in front of you perpendicular to the floor. Reach for the sky.
2. Exhale and squat down, bending your knees bringing your thighs as parallel to the earth as is possible for you, as if you are slowly taking a seat in a chair.
3. Drop your tailbone towards the earth, tuck it down and under, keep your lower back strong. Lengthen your neck and let the crown of your head reach towards the sky. Look straight ahead.
4. Keep breathing and stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5. Inhale and release the pose by straightening your knees and lift strongly through the arms back to standing. Exhale and lower your arms to your sides, back to Tadasana, where you began.