What Are the Benefits of Practicing Chair Yoga Everyday?
When I had just started practicing yoga, I was quite imaginative about the pose names. And the very first time I heard a Chair Pose Yoga Benefits, I was all like, this is something I would like to try!
Instead of a comfy chair, my yoga teacher was talking about a non-existent chair- not what I had in mind. Later I learned there is chair yoga that is meant for injured people or senior citizens, but this chair pose is a good old yoga mat practice.
Utkatasana or Chair Pose is an athlete pose and literally what it sounds like. Your legs are bent at an almost 90-degree angle, imitating the position of the body when seated in a chair. It is one of the most powerful yoga poses that increases circulation engages the core, hamstring, and both upper and lower body muscles.
Since it does not require any extreme balance, you can master this pose in no time with good muscle preparation and the right steps to do it. Before we go deeper into the benefits of the chair pose, let’s discuss what are the steps to performing a flawless chair pose.
Steps to leverage Chair Pose Yoga Benefits or Utkatasana
- Stand upright with legs a shoulder-length apart
Stay on top of your yoga mat and keep your feet a small shoulder length apart, and then stretch your hands in front of your chest. You can keep your hands folded in a namaste motion in front of you, or keep them erect without bending the elbows. See for yourself which hand position helps your balance better.
- Push your pelvic down
Slowly, start to lower your hips as if you are going to sit on a chair. Press your feet to the ground so they would not move. This is to prevent wobbling and create joint problems when your muscles are in contractions. Slowly lower yourself to a perfect chair sitting position.
- Keeping your hands in position
If you have stretched your hands across from you, make sure they maintain a parallel angle with the floor. You can also try other chair pose variations, such as one-legged chair pose, or hands behind the back pose. You should be feeling the muscle tension on your hamstring, stomach, calf muscles, and back. Make sure your knees do not dip too much. You can measure this by looking at your toes; your knees should not surpass your toes when looking from the top.
- Don’t forget to breath
Like any other yoga pose, breathing is essential to the right performance and increasing your stamina. While entering the pose, take a deep breath at the same pace as your body is moving into position. Exhale when you’re perfectly positioned in the Utkatasana pose. Use your breathing to relax into the pose by increasing oxygen to the contracting muscles. You can stay there for a minimum of three full breaths, or as long as you want.
- Coming out of the pose
You can come out the yoga chair pose in two ways;
One, lift your body into an erect position while taking a deep breath. Two, move slowly down with your upper body to place the palm down on the ground while simultaneously exhaling.
Avoid practicing chair pose if you have any joint issues or chronic pain in your leg area, spine, or hips. If you want to learn more about pose by pose yoga instructions, check out these DVDs for at-home yoga practices.
Advantages of Utkatasana or Chair Pose
The chair pose in Sanskrit is known as Utkatasana. There are several chair pose benefits if practiced regularly, which I have outlined below;
- Strengthening the spine, pelvic and chest muscles
This sitting yoga posture requires equilibrium and a great deal of muscle coordination, which helps the overall muscle engagement, especially around the hips, legs, chest, and back.
- Helps to enhance the posture of the lower back and torso
The root cause of bad posture is the weakness of muscle in the torso and lower back areas. The yoga chair positions help increase muscle strength; hence posture alignment chair pose enhances the overall posture.
- Beautiful and strong legs
Legs are the pillar of your body and it is essential to keep them strong; a chair pose a day helps you to increase muscle strength in the toes, ankles, legs, and hamstring. While getting these muscles toned, your legs are going to look just fabulous.
- Zen practice
Besides muscular engagements, the pose calls for balance. You will need to quiet your mind, increase awareness and practice mindfulness to get yourself in the right position. Balance in the body always equals balance in thoughts.
Tip of the Day
Banana Tea Before Bed Time
Bananas are a valuable source of energy, minerals, and vitamins. They make a substantial breakfast or mid-meal snack. Keep the banana peel for an after yoga brew.
All you have to do is wash them and boil them over simmering heat for 15-20 minutes. This tea prevents muscle tension and helps you sleep better.
You can dry your banana peels in a fruit drier and then store them in a sealed jar for whenever you need a peaceful brew.