Bharadvaja’s Twist
April 9, 2015

Awkward Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Utkatasana
(oot-kah-TAHS-anna)
utkata = powerful, fierce

Akward Pose

Benefits

  • 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

Contraindications

  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Exercise caution with shoulder or neck injury

How To

  1. Stand in Mountain pose with your feet together. Draw your tailbone toward the floor and lengthen your spine.
  2. Inhale and reach your arms up, palms facing each other.
  3. 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.
  4. Stay here for several breaths. Then inhale and rise to standing.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Sequencing Tips

Before:

After:

Teaching Cues

  • Root all four corners of the feet into the floor.
  • Draw the shoulders down the back.
  • Send the tailbone toward the floor.

Variations

  • 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