Chair pose, also known as Utkatasana, is a common yoga posture that provides many benefits for both physical and mental health. This squattingposture strengthens the whole body, especially the legs, glutes, and core, while also improving flexibility, balance, and focus.
For seniors and beginners, chair pose offers a gentle way to build lower body and core strength. It can be easily modified to adjust for different fitness levels. Mastering proper form and alignment in this posture takes time and regular practice.
How Long Should You Hold Chair Pose?
When first learning chair pose, it is common to only be able to hold it for 10-30 seconds at a time. As the posture becomes more familiar, chair pose can be held for up to 1 minute or longer.
There is no universal rule for how long to hold chair pose. A good guideline is to start with holding it for a few breaths, then gradually increase the duration. Listen to your body and avoid pushing past the point of comfort.
How to Hold the Chair Pose for Longer?
1. Use a Wall for Support
Facing a wall and placing your hands against it allows you to support some of your bodyweight. This makes holding the posture much easier when you are just starting out.
2. Engage Your Core
Activating your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine helps stabilize the posture. A strong core takes pressure off your thighs and glutes.
3. Keep Your Breath Steady
Focus on slow, steady breathing to calm your mind. Inhale and exhale smoothly through the movement. This will help you hold the pose longer with ease.
4. Practice Regularly
Doing chair pose every day, even for short periods of time, will quickly build strength and stamina. Be patient and keep it up. Combining chair pose with a complete 30 minute yoga routine provides greater overall benefits.
5. Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to any tremors, pain or discomfort. Come out of the pose and take a break as needed. Don’t force yourself past your limit.
What Are the Benefits of Chair Pose?
When performed correctly, holding chair pose provides many excellent benefits for both physical and mental health:
- Strengthens and tones the glutes, thighs, calves and ankles
- Stretches the chest and shoulders to improve posture and flexibility
- Engages the core abdominal muscles
- Improves sense of balance and control
- Builds lower body strength and stability
- Aids with weight loss by burning calories
- Relieves stress and mild depression
- Focuses the mind and increases concentration
- Boosts energy levels and reduces fatigue
- Helps relieve back pain when done with proper form
- Gentle way for seniors to build strength and mobility
Common Mistakes While Doing Chair Pose and How to Avoid Them
It’s easy for beginners to make mistakes in chair pose that could lead to injury or reduce the effectiveness. Here are some common errors and tips to avoid them:
Letting your torso slump forward or rounding your back strains your lower back. Keep your chest lifted and spine long. Engage your core.
Knees Past Toes
Don’t let your knees extend too far forward past your toes. This puts excessive pressure on the knee joints. Focus on sitting back more.
Keep your head level with eyes looking straight ahead. Don’t let your chin drop down as it strains the neck.
Stay relaxed in the posture, especially in your shoulders and neck. Don’t hunch or tense up the upper body.
Forgetting to Breathe
Breathe smoothly and deeply throughout the entire pose. Don’t hold your breath.
Ease in and out of the pose slowly. Don’t force yourself deeper than is comfortable. Respect your limits.
Can Everyone Do the Chair Pose?
Chair pose can be done by most people, including seniors and those new to yoga. However, there are some cases where chair pose may not be advisable:
- Recent or chronic knee injuries
- Severe balance issues
- High blood pressure
- Pregnancy in 2nd and 3rd trimesters
- Certain heart conditions
If you have any medical conditions, check with your doctor before trying new poses. There are usually modifications to make most yoga postures gentler and safer. Props like a chair or wall can provide support in chair pose if needed.
When Should You Not Do the Chair Pose?
It’s best to avoid chair pose under the following circumstances:
- You have severe knee pain or injury – chair pose puts a lot of pressure on the knee joints.
- You recently had surgery or are recovering from an injury – wait until you are fully healed.
- You have high or low blood pressure that is not well-controlled – the pose can spike or drop blood pressure.
- You feel light-headed or dizzy – chair pose requires balance and can exacerbate symptoms.
- You have major back problems like a herniated disc or spinal fusion – the flexion may strain or compress the spine.
In general, listen to your body and don’t do postures that cause pain or discomfort. There are always alternatives in yoga that provide similar benefits but are gentler on the body.
Chair pose is an excellent way to build lower body strength, engage your core, and improve balance when done with proper alignment and awareness. Work up to holding the posture longer by using props for support, engaging your core, practicing regular breathing, and listening to your body’s limits. The benefits are immense if you ease into the pose gently and cautiously.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should you hold chair pose?
For 30 seconds to one minute, stay in this position. Straighten your legs and lift your arms up to come out of the pose.
What happens if you do wall sits everyday?
Wall sit increases muscle strength. Primarily, it builds endurance and isometric strength in your glutes and calves. Wall sits are primarily focused on the legs and help to build strength and stability. As you all know, the lower part of our body plays a significant role in building our strength.
Are wall sits a waste of time?
Except for select athletes, i.e. Wall sitting is a time-consuming and inefficient way to spend your effort. They are a sub-maximal exercise that is done for time and provide no visual, performance or health benefits.
Is 10 minutes of yoga a day enough?
Do 10 minutes of yoga! You can improve your overall health and alertness by doing little amounts of exercise. Yoga is a mind-body exercise that offers many benefits, even if you have a limited time.
Is chair yoga as good as regular yoga?
Chair yoga, despite any limitations, can make you stronger and offer many other benefits. You will also experience increased flexibility.
How should I sit to flatten my stomach?
You can move from one side to the other a few times. Place your hands on the arms of the chair, and then lift each foot one by one. For a few seconds, hold the position and then release. You can do this every other half an hour, or as many times as possible.
What sitting all day does to your bum?
Sitting down can literally change the shape of your stomach. Giardano stated that an anterior pelvic tilt, or tight hip flexors can help your belly appear smaller. To keep your bum looking its best, you don’t need to leave your job. You can avoid the side effects of sitting by making a few small changes.
Can you lose weight while sitting in a chair?
Calories burned Different types of exercise may burn calories faster than others but every form of activity will burn calories. You can lose about 100 calories if you do chair exercises for half an hour, depending on how intense you exercise.
Which sitting position burns most calories?
Sit up Straight. Sitting straight, with your shoulders back and abs in tight place (as opposed to sitting at your desk) can help you engage more muscle and burn more calories.
Who should not do yoga?
You should avoid yoga in any form of stress, including fatigue, illness, hurry, or when you are feeling ill. Regular yoga should be avoided by women, especially during menstruation. Instead, you can try pranayama and relaxation techniques.