An Easy Guide to Utkatasana, or Yoga Chair

Utkatasana, or Yoga Chair, stretches the shoulders and chest and tones the back, all of the leg (especially the thighs), ankles and feet. It also stimulates the abdominal organs, which can help alleviate stomach cramps. It can help with flat feet, because it strengthens and stretches the lower half of the body.

Chair Pose dry grass

This yoga pose is a fantastic prep for sports that require a straight back, strong thighs and bent knees - like skiing and horse-riding. Tally ho.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Utkatasana, or Yoga Chair, in easy steps

Step 1:

Stand up straight in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), feet together or hip width apart.

Step 2:

Inhale and stretch your arms above your head. Fingers are pointing upward and the palms are facing each other.

Step 3:

Lengthen through the spine.

Step 4:

Exhale, bend your knees and pressing firmly through the feet, lower your buttocks as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair.

Step 5:

Draw your sit bones down, don't let your bum stick out.

Step 6:

Ensure that your knees are not falling forward over the ankles, you should be able to see the tip of your toes.

Step 7:

Keep the spine long and reach out through the fingertips. Relax the neck and the ankles.

Step 8:

Soften the shoulders and draw the shoulder blades towards each other and down the middle of the back.

Step 9:

Breathe smoothly and hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.

Step 10:

To come out, slowly straighten your legs, lower the arms to your sides and return to Mountain Pose.

Chair pose with bricks

Yoga pose category:  Standing

Level: 1

Although this is a beginners’ yoga pose, many yogis struggle to remain balanced for long periods of time. Try using a wall for support, just lightly pushing your tailbone against it.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Utkaka - powerful

Asana - pose 

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Utkatasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:

Flat feet


Back pain 

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Utkatasana if you have any of the following health conditions: 

Low blood pressure

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.