Chair Pose

Chair Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Though Utkatasana is also called Chair Pose, one should not think that the meaning of utkata in Sanskrit means chair. This pose is mainly referred to as the Fierce Pose where Utkata means violent or fierce or severe. This pose is also called the Chair pose just because the posture resembles like one is sitting on an invisible chair. This pose is one of the first pose in the Sun Salutation B series. It needs ample strength with the quadricep muscles to help your hips get the right support and give the knees a comfort to hold the pose for long. Working on the alignment of the hips along with the knees and the pelvic region is very essential to get comfortable in this pose.

Chair Pose is considered a base pose as chair pose variations can be derived from this pose.Chair Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start in Mountain pose with the big toes together & heels slightly apart. *Modification: If you have lower back issues keep feet hip distance apart with the outer edges of the feet parallel to one another.
Step 2
On an inhale, bend your knees and lower your hips down as if you are going to sit in a small chair. *Modifications: Don’t bend your knees to where you are dumping or over arching your spine. It is better to have a smaller bend in your knees and keep a strong and straight spine.
Step 3
Lift your arms up above head and rotate the triceps in towards one another. Draw the shoulder blades down the back and away from the ears.
Step 4
Shift the weight into your heels and draw your shins back. You should be able to see your toes and lift them off the earth if you chose to. Tailbone lengthens down towards the earth.
Step 5
Bring a gentle engagement to your belly by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine. Tuck the lower ribs in as you open your chest and broaden your collarbones.
Step 6
To release, fold over your legs and Come into forward fold. Alternatively you could straighten your legs and bring the arms along side the body into Tadasana.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine

Reduces flat feet

Stretches shoulders and chest

Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart




Low blood pressure

Photo poses in different angles


  • Think about squeezing your legs together as if they are one to make them stronger. You can use a block or rolled up towel to practice this – imagine you are squeezing it and also trying to shoot it out behind you as you internally rotate the thighs
  • However, you can also bring your feet wider apart to make your base a little more stable if you need to
  • Press firmly through the feet to create more lift in the upper body. Keep the weight evenly distributed between the heels and the balls of the feet
  • Practice the action in the legs first with your hands on your hips or the back of a (stable) chair for support.
Modifications & Variations
  • Revolved Chair Pose On Chair
  • Revolved Chair Pose One Hand On Knee
  • Chair Pose Prayer Hands
  • Standing Cat Pose
  • Chair Pose On Tiptoes Variation Prayer Hands
  • Shiva Squat Pose Prayer Hands
  • Seat Of Isis
  • Flying Mountain Feet Knees Chair Pose Partner
  • Standing Wall Squat Pose
  • Chair Pose Variation Eagle Arms
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Mountain Pose
  • Standing Forward Fold Pose
  • Revolved Chair Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Revolved Chair Pose
  • Standing Forward Fold Pose
  • Mountain Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.