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This pose is an all round body toner for your legs, thighs, triceps and stomach. If time where money, this is Awkward Chair Pose is where you would get the most bang for your buck. Ladies let me introduce Utkatasana Pose! I will be explaining the Barkan Method Long Chair Pose here as that’s the one that is practiced in my studio and it makes sense for us to learn that one.
Step 1 ~ Stand at the top of your yoga mat with your feet together in Tadasana. Place your feet apart about the distance of two fists (6 inches). Ground yourself into the floor.
Step 2 ~ While keeping your heels anchored flat on the floor, make a deep bend in your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Bend only as much as is comfortable. Reach out with your arms so that they are parallel to the floor. You will be holding your arms this way for the remainder of the steps. The arms should be held engaged. If I were to push down on one of your hands, your arms should not collapse but rather resist the pressure I exert. Gaze straight ahead and hold your dristy. You should look like you are sitting on an imaginary chair, sit deeply lift your heart up towards the heavens and lean your upper body backwards while stretching your fingertips as far out in front of you as you can. Hold this position for 30 seconds then straighten your legs and come up slowly.
Step 3 ~ Place your feet apart about the distance of two fists. Come up high onto your toes and bend the knees as deep as you, your thighs here will not be parallel to the floor but slightly higher. You should see about to inches of thigh in the mirror in front of you. Keep your spine straight and hold for 30 seconds. Keep your abs, thighs, and arm muscles engaged. Then lower your heels until your feet flat and rise back up until you are standing. Do not drop your arms. Keep them parallel to the floor.
Step 4 ~ Rise back up onto your toes and keep your knees and thighs pressed together tightly. Engage your ab muscles and start to bend your knees deeply. This time we are going to go all the way down until you are sitting about just 2 inches above your heels in order to keep your thighs parallel to the floor. This lowering is akin to if you were standing with your back against a wall and were sliding down the wall. Your back would be straight. You must hold your knees tightly together to prevent injuries. Hold this pose for 10 seconds and then come up slowly with your back straight as if sliding up an imaginary wall.
Step 5 ~ Now that you are standing you can lower your arms. You may shake out your arms if they are feeling overworked. Congratulations you have made it through one of the most challenging poses in Yoga.
Here is a great tutorial, the teacher taaaaaaalks a looooooot. Not ideal but it was the only video that was very clear on the perfect expression of the posture.
My Update Day 3: Writing out the poses in detail has helped me memorize the actual pose sequence. My flow is getting easier and my having to type out the Sanskrit version of the yoga poses means I am learning how to say and spell out the pose in Sanskrit! Double Whammy!