Pose of the month: Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

Pose of the month: Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

As the cold winter month of January settles in, maintaining a healthy mind and body becomes ever more crucial. It is tempting to hibernate indoors, watching movies and sipping your hot chocolat/ tea. But integrating yoga into your daily routine offers great benefits, particularly through poses like Utkatasana, commonly known as the Chair Pose. This yoga posture not only strengthens the body but also offers unique advantages that align perfectly with the winter season.

How? Check below!



Utkatasana, comes from Sanskrit where “Utkata” means fierce or power, and “asana” usually refers to posture. It embodies the essence of sitting in an imaginary chair. The pose involves bending your knees and lowering your hips, mimicking the posture of sitting on a chair, while keeping your spine erect and arms raised front or up. The pose is an integrated part of almost every yoga practice (except Yin Yoga or Restorative) as it has many benefits for both the body and the mind. Here I want to specify the most important ones:

Yoga with Paulina studio Montreal - Chair pose
  1. It is warming the Body

Winter often brings a chill that makes our bodies stiff and cold. Utkatasana generates heat within the body, particularly targeting the leg muscles, quadriceps, and glutes. This internal warmth not only feels invigorating but also helps to loosen tight muscles, increasing flexibility and mobility. That’s why it is so often taught in winter!

2. Boosting Circulation

With the drop in temperatures, circulation can be sluggish, leading to cold extremities. The dynamic nature of Utkatasana stimulates blood flow throughout the body, enhancing circulation and ensuring that warmth reaches even the furthest reaches of your limbs. If you experience cold feet or hands – this pose is for you!

3. Strengthening the Core

Maintaining balance in the Chair Pose engages the core muscles significantly. The winter months can sometimes make us feel a little lethargic, but regular practice of Utkatasana strengthens the abdominal muscles, improving posture and stability. So important now, in sedentary jobs.

4. Building Mental Resilience

Just as winter tests our physical endurance, it can also impact our mental well-being. Utkatasana challenges us to hold a seemingly uncomfortable position, encouraging focus, concentration, and resilience. This mental fortitude cultivated on the mat can help navigate the challenges off the mat as well.


To derive the maximum benefits from Utkatasana, it’s crucial to practice it safely:

– Begin by standing tall with feet parallel and hip-width apart.

– Inhale deeply while raising your arms overhead or front.

– Exhale slowly while bending your knees, lowering your hips as if sitting in an invisible chair.

– Ensure your knees align with your ankles and don’t extend past your toes.

– Keep your spine long, chest lifted, and gaze forward.

– Hold the pose for several breaths, gradually working up to longer durations.

– Come back by stretching your legs, and lowering your hands to the first standing position.


  • Sickness or weakness of the body
  • Serious knee injury
  • Heating conditions (fewer, hot flashes)
  • Pregnancy (practice gentle and with care)
  • Recently performed abdominal surgeries


In the depths of winter, when the cold seems to seep into your bones, Utkatasana offers a place of warmth and peace. Practice the Chair Pose not just as a physical exercise but as a means to revitalize your body, uplift your spirits, and support resilience during the upcoming  frosty winter months in Montreal. Incorporate this powerful yoga pose into your daily routine to see the transformative effects in both your body mind and soul.