Pose TypeBalance, Standing
Utkatasana (oot-kah-TAHS-anna) utkata = powerful, fierce
- Strengthens the legs, glutes, ankles, and spine
- Opens the chest and shoulders
- Gently massages the heart
- Tones the abdominal organs
- Helps relieve arthritis and rheumatism in the legs
- Low blood pressure
- Exercise caution with shoulder or neck injury
- Stand in Mountain pose with your feet together. Draw your tailbone toward the floor and lengthen your spine.
- Inhale and reach your arms up, palms facing each other.
- Exhale and slowly bend your knees as you shift your hips down and back. Make sure that your toes are aligned behind your knees. Gaze straight ahead or diagonally downward.
- Stay here for several breaths. Then inhale and rise to standing.
- Slowly lift your heels off the ground and squeeze your inner thighs together. Exhale and repeat the third step, bending your knees and bringing your hips down.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths. Inhale and rise to Mountain pose.
Modify or Replace
- Look toward the floor if any strain is felt in the neck.
- Practice the pose with the feet hip-distance apart.
- Widen the arms into a cactus position to lessen the stretch in the shoulders.
- Root all four corners of the feet into the floor.
- Draw the shoulders down the back.
- Send the tailbone toward the floor.
- Bring the palms to touch overhead.
- Bend the knees until the thighs are parallel to the floor.
Watch Out For
- Overarching in the low back
- Knees beyond the toes