utkatasana twist

each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons.

According to Light on Yoga, “[Utkatasana] removes stiffness in the shoulders and corrects any minor deformities in the legs. The ankles become strong and the leg muscles develop evenly. The diaphragm is lifted up and this gives a gentle massage to the heart. The abdominal organs and the back are toned, and the chest is developed by being fully expanded.” And by adding the twist to the pose, the lower spine is rejuvenated and the abdominal organs are squeezed and contracted, aiding digestion and elimination. The pose is also thought to have therapeutic applications for flat feet.

Utkatasana Twist (Chair Pose, or Fierce Pose, performed with a twist):

Utkata = powerful, fierce, uneven
Asana = pose, posture

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine
  • Stretches the shoulders and chest
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs, diaphragm, and heart
  • Reduces flat feet

Cautions/Contraindications:

  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Insomnia

Preparatory Poses:

  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
  • Virasana (Hero’s Pose)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:
Lil’ Jon & the East Side Boyz: “Stick That Thang Out” (feat. Pharrel Williams & Yin Yang Twins)

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asana girl, aka danielle polen, is a tranquil space yoga teacher.

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