‘Sit’ for this full body yoga workout

My favorite exercises are the ones where one posture or movement works many different body parts at the same time.  This saves time and produces the most results from the least effort. So today, yoga teacher Lauren Golen shares with you yoga’s “chair Pose,” which works every part of the body, and tests one’s commitment and strength of will, all in a minute or two.

The intensely fierce pose that’s fun, too!

Yoga’s chair pose seems easy but is actually a bit difficult. In fact, the Sanskrit name for it is Utkatasana, which means intense or fierce or powerful posture. The longer you hold it the more difficult it becomes, and the burn you feel can be fierce!

Yet, chair pose is a lot of fun, too. Especially since you get an amazing workout for the entire body in just a minute or two… or three if you can hold the posture that long.

The benefits of this pose are many. In yoga practice they say chair pose:

  • Strengthens the thighs, spine, ankle and calf muscles;
  • Stretches the shoulder and thorax (chest);
  • Exercises the spine, hips, lower back, torso and chest muscles;
  • Tones the thighs, ankles, legs and muscles supporting the knees; and
  • Balances the entire body while causing the mind to focus and be determined.

How to do the chair pose…

Stand erect with arms by your side and feet hip-width apart. For best balance you want your feet to be aligned with your hips. This will be roughly six inches or the width of two of your fists held side by side.

Hold your arm straight out in front of you at their natural width, fingers extended together with palms facing down.

Stretch your arms forward and pull your belly in nice and tight.

Now lower your body as if sitting down on a chair, but here you are holding yourself up in a chair pose posture.

To do this without falling, you want to extend your butt way behind you while reaching forward with your hands as counter balance.

Keep your toes relaxed but also touching the floor, placing a bit more weight onto your heels for support.

Hold the pose for as long as you can… 30 seconds to a few minutes. Be sure to breathe, pull your belly in and arch your back.

When you’re exhausted, inhale as you stand back up to the starting position.

This is an exercise you can do anytime and anywhere… give it a try and enjoy!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.