Half Chair Pose - Eka Pada Utkatasana

Half Chair Pose - YanvaYoga

Contents

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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin by taking an Awkward Chair Pose (Utkatasana) i.e. stand straight with your feet together and both arms at your sides. Slightly bend your knees, so that your thighs become parallel to the floor.
Step 2
Your thighs should be low, and your entire body weight should be on your heels.
Step 3
Hold both your hands together in a prayer position or Anjali Mudra, and keep them near your heart.
Step 4
Keeping your right foot grounded on the floor, start to lift your left foot off the ground.
Step 5
Make sure to keep your right knee bent as you cross your left ankle over your right thigh above your knee. Flex your left foot.
Step 6
Look down, and you'll see a triangle shape created by your legs.
Step 7
Hold this posture for a few breaths.
Step 8
Slowly come out of the posture, and return to an upright position.
Step 9
Release your left leg to the floor, and breathe easily in the one-legged chair pose before switching your legs.

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Strengthen quadriceps, the ankle and foot muscles

Stretches the outer hip and glute muscles

Improves balance

Improves mindfulness and control over your thoughts

Contraindications

Hips, knees, spinal, or ankle injuries

Low blood pressure

Pregnancy

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.

Useful Tips

  • 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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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.