The Chair pose aka Utkatasana
The Chair pose is a low squatting, standing asana.
The pose strengthens the muscles of the arms and the legs and will also stimulate the diaphragm and heart.
This pose may look simple because you are sitting in an imaginary chair!
But it requires the strength of your arms, legs and torso to come together as you engage your core muscles and lengthen the spine.
1. Stand in Tadasana, or the Mountain pose, with your feet parallel, shoulders down and back, arms at your sides.
Bend your knees. Make sure your feet and knees are parallel, while imagining that you are holding a beach ball between your thighs.
2. Align your fingertips on the floor, tug your tailbone under and engage your core muscles as shown in the photo above.
3. With a deep inhale, raise your arms overhead as shown in the second photo, above at right.
Align your biceps alongside your ears or slightly in front of them. Your torso may lean forward slightly over your thighs.
Press your shoulder blades against the back and lengthen your spine.
4. Hold the pose for 5-to-10 breaths. Straighten your knees and lift your arms strongly as you inhale.
Exhale to release your arms to your sides and return back to Tadasana, the Mountain pose.
Keep practicing! Namaste.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.