how to do chair posture in yoga class

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How to Do Chair Posture in Yoga

Even though physical postures are only one part of Yoga, it’s important to explore them so you find the best version for you. Today we’re looking at chair posture, a standing position that builds all over body strength.

👉 Before I go further, if you want to review my five key points about asanas, click here.

Yoga postures, also called asanas, shapes, and poses, are the physical positions you practice. Asanas create flexibility, build strength, and develop stamina in order to prepare you for meditation.

Prefer videos? Watch How to Do Chair Posture (Utkatasana) in Yoga


Standing, Strengthening


Fierce, Lightning bolt, Utkatasana

Click for the Sanksrit pronunciation.

sanskrit written pronunciation of chair posture

I’ve provided some benefits, contraindications, variations, chakra connections, and sequencing suggestions. Other yoga teachers and sites may list additional or varying information.

👉 Remember Key Point #1, there is no one singular way.

STEPS TO DO chair posture

  1. Start in mountain with your feet hips-width distance apart.
  2. Bend your knees and guide your hips to the back edge of your mat.
  3. Extend your arms or keep your hands at heart center.

BENEFITS OF chair posture

Benefits = By practicing this posture, the conditions listed can be improved.

  • Elongates + decompresses your spine
  • Strengthens feet, legs, butt, and abs
  • Improves balance


Contraindications = A condition that the posture could make worse.

  • Low back issues
  • Knee or ankles problems


By altering the form of a yoga posture, you can meet the requirements and strength of each person. Yoga encourages you to practice within your capacity whether that means you need to increase or reduce the intensity.

“Asana variations are not just for people with specific physical problems. They can help all yoga practitioners remain open to discovery.” –TKV Desikachar, The Heart of Yoga.

  • Extend arms (keep at heart center for neck and shoulder issues)
  • For knee problems, don’t sit as deeply into position
  • Use sturdy chair to support both seated and standing versions
  • Prayer twist
  • Downhill skier
  • Toe balance (avoid if there are ankle issues)
chair pose using chair for support
chair pose with downhill skier
chair pose with toe balance


Chair posture has root and solar plexus chakra connections.

The root chakra is associated with the base of the your spine, legs, and feet. Your solar plexus chakra aligns with your intestines, stomach, and diaphragm.

In utkatasana, your feet provide the foundation (root) and you build the strength in your core (solar plexus).


Postures you could do BEFORE chair:

Postures you could do AFTER chair:

  • Standing forward bend
  • Mountain


A more traditional shape of chair has the low back scooped and arms extended by or behind your ears. This more intense version is where the position derives its name, “fierce” posture.

However, the exaggerated arch in your back can stress your shoulder joints and create compression in your low back.

Try tilting your hips toward the floor to create a straight/flat back. This will help you build strength in your core and lower body without stressing your shoulder and hips joints.


teach these 6 variations of chair (utkatasana)
3 simple steps to do chair (utkatasana) in yoga
how to do chair (utkatasana) in yoga

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Shannon with Purple Lotus Yoga
Hi! I'm Shannon

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