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How to Hold Chair Pose in Yoga


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Chair pose is one of my favorite asanas in any yoga class. It works so much while also giving you a chance to catch your breath. Your quads are fired up, your core is held tight, and your arms are active all while you breathe deeply and reflect in the moment.

Sound like torture? Some people see it that way! Sometimes the most challenging poses are the ones when we are still and fully feeling all of the work our bodies are doing. But, these postures can become a little bit easier when we know exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. Here is a breakdown of utkatanasana and how to avoid the most common mistakes while doing it.

Chair Pose Alignment

  • Your feet can either be hip's width apart, or you can bring your big toes to touch. See what feels right in your own body and pick your preference.
  • Start by bending your knees slightly. You can always go lower once you have your form down.
  • Pull your knees back so that they are stacked over your ankles, completely behind your toes.
  • Make sure you can clearly see all of your toes when you look down.
  • Tuck your tailbone down. Duck butts are a common error in chair pose and are hard on your back!
  • Pull your abdomen up toward your rib cage and hold it tight.
  • Pull your shoulders back and down to open your chest.
  • Reach your fingertips up tall and strong with active arms.
  • Holding your form, you can use your quads and glutes to start to sink lower.
  • If your knees move forward past your toes, you've gone down too far!
  • Keep your core engaged the whole time and double check that your tailbone is still down.

Modification: If your arms or shoulders are sore, you can bring your palms together in front of your chest with your elbows pointed out wide.

Follow Hayley Hyer @hayhyer