Last week, after a standing warm up, we came into Utkatasana, or chair pose. Here’s a reminder if you would like to try at home.
Begin with a standing warm up, keep it soft and flowing as we did last week. Then come to standing in Tadasana. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Either keep the arms parallel, palms facing inward, or, for the first couple, keep your hands on your hips until you feel flexible enough to add in the arms.
Exhale and bend your knees, trying to take the thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible. The knees will project out over the feet, and the torso will lean slightly forward over the thighs until the front torso forms approximately a right angle with the tops of the thighs. Keep the inner thighs parallel to each other and press the heads of the thigh bones down toward the heels.
Engage your leg and core muscles working throughout. Think of your feet too, and keep the arches lifting up. Pull your shoulder blades in against the back and feel that you are leading from the chest without throwing the head back. Take your tailbone down toward the floor to keep the lower back long.
Keep the gaze soft, and take 10 deep breaths. To come out of this pose straighten your knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through the arms. Exhale and release your arms to your sides into Tadasana.
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