Half Chair Pose - Eka Pada Utkatasana
Half Chair Pose or Eka Pada Utkatasana (eh-kuh pah-dah Oot-kah-TAHS-anah) – also known as Standing Figure-Four Pose, One-Legged Chair Pose or Whooping Crane Pose – is an intermediate-level standing yoga pose that helps to stretch and strengthen the hips, legs, and thighs.
It’s a hip-opener and a balance pose in one, creating strength and stability in the core, hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps muscles. This is a good pose to do regularly if you spend a lot of time sitting, which can cause tightness in the hips and hamstrings that often leads to back pain or other injuries. It is also thought to calm and clear the mind, and relieve stress.
- By Type: Balancing Yoga Poses, Flexibility Yoga Poses, Hip Opening Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses
- Body Position: Forward Bend Yoga Poses, Standing Yoga Poses
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- By Benefit: Yoga Poses For Sciatica, Yoga Poses For Stress Relief
Benefits and Contraindications
Strengthen quadriceps, the ankle and foot muscles
Stretches the outer hip and glute muscles
Improves mindfulness and control over your thoughts
Hips, knees, spinal, or ankle injuries
Low blood pressure
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications and Props for Beginners
- A yoga block can be used to place under the standing foot to provide additional stability and support.
- A yoga strap can be used to wrap around the extended foot and help lift it higher, or to hold onto for added balance.
- To avoid straining the hips, make sure to keep a straight line between the hips and the spine, and don’t arch or twist the back too much. Keep the abs tight throughout the asana and pull the navel inwards.
- Knees should not bend beyond your ankle, as this can cause injury to the anterior cruciate ligament.
- While doing Eka Pada Utkatasana, keep the shoulders loose and down so that they do not rise towards the ears. Keep the shoulders relaxed, and don’t over-engage them.
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