Awkward Yoga Pose / Chair Pose: How to Do it Right

Do you easily get overwhelmed by the chaos of life? Do you want to fuel the fierceness within you?  If yes, we have just the perfect yoga asana for you – the awkward yoga pose.

Also known by names such as Chair/Fierce pose, the pose may look simple but trust me doing it is a completely different ball game. The powerful yoga asana which makes you sit on an imaginary chair strengthens back and legs lift the diaphragm and massage the abdomen and connects you to the universal energy.

Let’s dive deeper and understand how to practice the correct posture of the awkward yoga pose, its benefits, and how to customize it to suit your needs and fitness levels.

Chair pose – Step by Step Instructions

Step by step instructions to do Chair Yoga Pose

How to practice the correct posture of the awkward yoga pose

  1. Stand straight with your feet slightly apart

    Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Keep your feet aligned, tighten your thighs, bringing your body in a straight line. Inhale a deep breath and focus on your breathing, bring awareness into the present moment.

  2. As you inhale, raise your arms with palms facing inwards

    As you inhale, raise your arms with palms facing inwards. Make sure your elbows are not bent. Stretch forward your arms over your ears, pulling up your shoulders gently.

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  3. As you exhale, bend your knees

    As you exhale, bend your knees; keep your thighs parallel to the ground (as much as you can) and push down the pelvis. Lean forward until your torso forms a right angle with your thighs. Contract your abdomen and lift your chest. If done right it will seem like you are sitting in an imaginary chair.

  4. Stretch your lower back by pushing your tailbone

    Stretch your lower back by pushing your tailbone (hips) towards the floor. If done right you will be able to see your toes. Try and hold this posture for 30 seconds (as long as it feels comfortable)

  5. Inhale as you start coming out of the Awkward yoga pose

    Inhale as you start coming out of the Awkward yoga pose. Gently straighten your knees, torso, and bring back your arms to the side and your body in a straight line.

Beginners tip

In case you are having trouble holding the Awkward yoga pose, try and practice with feet at hip-width apart. It will give you a stronger, stable base to distribute your body weight on.

You can even try and practice near a wall. Begin by maintaining such a distance so that when you bend your knees and come into the chair pose (Step 3), your tailbone touches the wall and supports your weight.

Best time to perform

It is best to practice this yoga asana is in the morning as it energizes the body and prepares you for the day ahead.

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In case you can’t work out in the mornings, it is ok to practice in the evenings. Just make sure you have an empty stomach and you had last meal at least 4 hours before you begin the workout.


Health benefits

The Awkward yoga pose strengthens and stabilizes the thighs, hips, legs, and ankles since that is where most of the body-weight lies in this pose. It also stretches the lower back, abdomen, shoulders, and arms, reducing stiffness in the body. This yoga asana is an excellent pose to cut through the stubborn lower belly fat and balance the pelvis.

Therapeutic benefits

The Awkward yoga pose stimulates blood circulation and supplies adequate fresh oxygen to the body which helps in managing hypertension, fatigue, and obesity. The yoga asana is especially recommended for people looking to improve their attention span and mental clarity. The yoga pose clears blockages in the Root (Muladhara) chakra.


Avoid Awkward yoga pose if you suffer from frequent headaches, insomnia, low blood pressure, a knee injury, a hip injury and during the first trimester of pregnancy.

In case of shoulder pain, you can practice this pose with palms pressed (Anjali Mudra) instead of stretched out arms.


A basic vinyasa yoga asana, the Awkward yoga pose helps in opening stiff shoulders, balance, and overall endurance building of the body. It is an essential part of Sun salutations. It is an excellent yoga pose to maintain blood circulation especially if you have a sitting job or are traveling.

Additional facts

Preparatory poses – Virasana, Bhujangasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana

Follow up poses – Tadasana, Ardha Uttanasana

Alternate poses – Navasana

Sanskrit name – Utkaṭāsana (pronounced as Oot-Kah-Tah-Sah-Nah)

Utkaṭā – means wild, frightening, unusual, Asana – pose

The yoga asana gets its name from the resemblance to sitting on a chair

Difficulty level – Beginner

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” – Patanjali

Fun fact – Did you know, Utkasana comes from the Sanskrit word Utkata which means fierce, loud superior. The pose which looks like sitting on an easy chair is more like sitting on a throne and conveys power and authority.

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Sonam Gulati
Sonam Gulati
Sonam Gulati - A wife, a mom, a dog-mom, a fitness enthusiast (in no particular order) has been practicing yoga for the last 12 years. Her journey began due to chronic back pain (thanks to a long sitting job) and post-natal depression. The pain birthed an urge to find a strong body and mind (for herself, for her child) and ended up transforming her. Working through deep-rooted feelings and trauma, releasing them layer by layer, her life today is a testament to the healing power of Yoga and how it enables a mind, body, and soul union. She has been writing on various aspects of health and relationships for over 8 years, journaling through her journey.

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