Utkatasana: April Yoga Pose of the Month

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Strengthens quads/glutes/core & lengthens/rotates spine to provide more breathing room

Chair (Sanskrit: Utkatasana)

  • With feet together, stand in Mountain (Tadasana). Engage Uddiyana Bandha (drawing the navel in towards spine) to support the back/core. Palms at heart center, take hips back as if you’re sitting in an imaginary chair (or ottoman as shown in the pic on the left).  You should be able to look down and see your toes.

  • Palms can stay at heart center. Another option is to lengthen arms in front with palms facing one another to assist in releasing the shoulders. Shoulder blades slide down the back. Gaze can be slightly up without creating lots of wrinkles in the back of the neck.  Stay in pose for 3-5 breaths keeping weight in the heels.
  • Note: You can revolve your Chair (Parivrtta Utkatasana).  To do so take a deep breath and lengthen spine. On the exhale, twist from the waist up to your chosen side. Take an inhale and on the next exhale, sit deeper into your Chair keeping knees even. If available, bring your elbow to outside of knee. You may keep hands at heart center or lengthen arms. Another option is to make a fist with the top hand and place in palm of other hand to decrease pressure in wrist. Gaze can be wherever you’d like.

Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.

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About Author

Celeste Cooper-Peel, MA, MCHES, E-RYT, CWHC, CYT

Wellness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty years. As a chemist, she conducted research which brought her into the mindset of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education from East Carolina University, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate about all things wellness. She enjoys collaborating with team members, teaching, presenting and nurturing healthy lifestyle changes. She believes that every day is a learning opportunity and creates opportunities that reflect active learning, being curious and forward thinking. Celeste is a published author, the wife of a fun-loving husband, mother of a college freshman, "professional" front porch meditator and loves to play in the dirt . She is a nationally Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Certified Wellness and Health Coach (CWHC), Certified Yin-Yang Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT). She has also received advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition and additional trainings with The Institute for Functional Medicine. Follow @ccooperpeel on Twitter and Instagram.

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