Utkatasana is a standing posture that on the outside appears simple enough, but looks can be deceiving – this pose will challenge beginners and advanced students alike. As with the previous mountain and tree poses, the primary focus is placed on the legs and pelvis to stabilise and ground the asana, and there is a dynamic balance between the upper and lower body, which is said to help develop determination.
Starting from the Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Placing the feet together, lift your arms above your head bringing the palms to face inward.
If it is difficult to raise the arms, place your hands in prayer position at the level of the heart.
Working with the breath, bends the knees and sink your pelvis as if you were going to sit down.
By doing this the knees, calves and ankles will be placed into flexion; this will both stretch and strengthen these areas, whilst improving the range of motion in the ankles.
• UPPER ARMS
The shoulders are flexed and the upper back muscles are contracting to maintain Utkatasana, the arms are extending out and up, which helps tone the arms and shoulder muscles.
• • •UPPER LEGS, PELVIS AND HIPS
The hips will be flexed. The inner thigh muscles known as the adductors will be contracting as the knees in this pose have a tendency to try and open outwards.
You will feel a contraction in the hamstrings, quads and glute muscles – their job is to strengthen and help root the entire posture and prevent it from collapsing towards earth.
The psoas and the abdominal muscles are working hard so that the pelvis does not tilt forward, and also ensuring that the lower back does not overextend.
There will be an extension from the lower back and a slight forward lean from the pelvis up into the spine. The erector muscles that run either side of the spine from pelvis to skull, will be contracting to maintain this alignment.
• Creates space and openness in
shoulders and chest
• Traditionally thought to stimulate the abdominal organs and heart.
• Many asanas use muscle against muscle to create resistance, whereas the chair pose main source of
resistance is from gravity.
[28/05/2012 18:30:11] Helena: Contraindications
lower back, and
high blood pressure and headaches
Chair pose strengthens