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You probably know all about how yoga can help you stay fit and even lose weight. But if you think that you can’t use yoga to gain some muscle, then you’re absolutely wrong! The practice of yoga has many poses that can strengthen your muscles, including building mass. One such asana, which is perfect for any yoga for muscle gain routine, is the chair pose or utkatasana.
“Chair Pose is a dynamic posture that helps you achieve a slender and conditioned physique,” says Grand Master Akshar.
Utkatasana is considered to be a connecting pose for the upper and lower regions of the body. And there are over 30 variations of this asana that you can perform to build muscle mass! While some of these variations are beginner-friendly, some should only be practised under guided supervision.
This pose particularly targets your lower body muscles, including your hips, waist, abdominal area, pelvic region, inner and outer thighs, and glutes. Moreover, Akshar says: “Chair Pose also helps strengthen your ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. It also stretches and stimulates the abdominal organs.”
“Utkatasana is a popular posture used for getting rid of excess fat around the waist and the belly. When you hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, it increases your lower body strength which further helps in building the muscles,” says Akshar.
Within two to three months of regular practice, you’ll notice that your legs have become stronger and you have gained lean muscles. And if all this wasn’t enough, with this asana you can also tone your upper body! Wondering how? When you extend your arms in this pose, it promotes greater upper body strength.
As mentioned above, holding this position for 30 seconds to one minute is enough if you’re a beginner. However, if you want to hold this position for a long period of time then Grand Master Akshar suggests: “In order to improve your utkatasana for longer, you can practise holding samasthiti or tadasana for long periods of time. Performing squats everyday will also allow you to strengthen your lower body which can then help you stay in utkatasana for a long period of time.”
1. Begin in samasthithi.
2. Join your palms to make the namaste gesture at your heart chakra, and raise your arms up.
3. Bend your knees and slowly lower your pelvis.
4. Keep your pelvis parallel to the floor bending your knees at a 90 degree
5. Align your ankles and knees in one straight line. Focus your gaze towards your palms.
6. Ensure that your spine remains erect.
8. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat five more times.
“Utkatasana should be avoided by those who suffer from severe lower back pain. Also avoid this pose if you suffer from any knee pain or injury. Do not perform utkatasana if you suffer from stomach acidity or gas, and bloating related issues,” suggests Akshar.