Utkatasana / Chair Pose

Works the muscles of the legs and arms and stimulates the heart and diaphragm.

Step by Step

1.   From Tadasana, inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Either keep the arms parallel, palms facing inward, or join the palms.

2. 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.

3. Roll your shoulders down and away from the ears, firm your shoulder blades against the back.  Curl the pelvis under, taking your tailbone down toward the floor and in toward your pubis to keep the lower back long.

4. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute, keep breathing.  To come out straighten your knees with an inhalation, lifting strongly through the arms.  Exhale and release your arms to your sides back to Tadasana.