Whenever somebody says that yoga is only stretching, we want to challenge them to hold chair pose, utkatasana, for 10 breaths and tell us that it’s “just a stretch”!
Strengthens the core, shoulders, butt, thighs, hips, and back. Opens the chest, stimulates circulation, and increases heart rate!
- Begin in mountain pose tadasana. Your feet can be anywhere from touching to about hip-distance apart (closer together is harder!).
- Bend your knees, bringing your thighs as close to parallel with the floor as you can. Imagine you are sitting in a chair, and lift through your upper body.
- Try to keep your weight in your heels, rather than in the balls of your feet. Don’t let your heels come off the floor, but feel free to lift your toes!
- Make sure to keep your knees more or less in line with your ankles, but don’t let them go past your toes.
- Reach your arms up with your palms facing each other. Think about having a straight line from your hips to the tips of your fingers.
- Try to avoid an arch in your back in this pose. Draw your lower abdominals in to support your back.
- Hold for as long as you can! Don’t forget to breath.
Keep your hands in a prayer position, close to your heart, but make sure your shoulders, core, and back are still engaged.