Updated : April 04, 2022
Use chair pose to cultivate happiness and resilience in difficult situations, and strengthen, tone, and balance the muscles in your entire body!
Chair pose — or Utkatasana (OOT-kat-AAS-ana ) in Sanskrit — is a challenging leg-strengthening posture that provides an intense workout for the lower body, particularly the thighs. Utkatasana is a great pose to do after completing other standing postures, in preparation for seated and reclined postures. It gets its name from the Sanskrit words, utkat, meaning intense or powerful, and asana, meaning pose.
Other names for chair pose include awkward pose, thunderbolt pose, fierce pose, and powerful pose.
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Stand up straight with your feet together or hip-width apart and parallel to each other on the yoga mat.
Reach your arms straight out in front of you with your palms face down, or you can bring your hands together over your head with arms straight. Your shoulder blades should be drawn back and down.
Bend your knees deeply, and sink your pelvis toward the ground as though you are sitting down in an imaginary chair.
Make sure that your knees are in line with your ankles and toes, with the weight of your body on your heels.
Do your best to remain as comfortable and calm as possible while maintaining the posture. A burning sensation in your quadriceps is normal.
Inhale deeply to lengthen the spine, and sink your tailbone further down on every exhale.
Hold the posture for 30 to 60 seconds.
To come out of the posture, stand up straight, or sit all the way down on the mat.
Tip from a Sri Sri Yoga expert: Smile throughout the entire practice of this yoga posture! It will help you hold the pose for longer. This standing pose will help you cultivate happiness in challenging situations.
Benefits of this standing yoga posture
Lengthens the spine and opens the chest
, thigh muscles, and abdominal muscles, as well as all of the joints in the lower body
Stimulates the diaphragm, heart, and abdominal organs
Tones the back muscles and other muscles along the torso, including core muscles
Balances the body, and brings determination and willpower to the mind
Chair pose precautions
If you have any of the following conditions, please avoid doing chair pose until the condition has improved or you are given approval by your healthcare provider.
Chronic knee pain or arthritis of the knee
Knee ligament damage
Low blood pressure
Lower back pain
Modifications and variations
To Increase the challenge, lower your hips as near to the ground as possible while maintaining most of your body weight on your heels.
Preparatory poses and follow-up poses
| Preparatory and Follow-Up
Browse our entire, and learn more about each pose in detail.
Take your yoga practice to the next level
If you’re interested in deepening your experience, we recommend following-up your asana practice with powerful breathwork and meditation.
Join a free online session with a live instructor, and experience guided breathwork and meditation now. In this session you will also learn about SKY Breath Meditation, which has helped millions of people worldwide to reap the deeper benefits of yoga, and take their yoga practice to the next level.
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