Utkata means powerful or fierce. Like many standing positions it is about building up stamina and strength in the body and in the mind. It is quite a demanding pose but is excellent for strengthening the muscles of the legs, back, arms and abdomen. It also strengthens the ankles and opens the chest.

To practice Powerful Pose:

  • Stand in Mountain Pose. Inhaling, raise your arms above your head with the palms facing each other.
  • Exhaling, press into your heels, bend your knees and take your buttocks down towards the floor as you were going to sit on a low chair or stool. The idea is to keep moving the thighs downwards until they are parallel to the floor. If this is too tough on the thigh muscles in the beginning, only go down as far as you are comfortable with.
  • Hold the pose, if possible for 3 breaths. As you inhale, lift the lower abdomen away from the tops of the thighs and stretch the palms of the hands upwards. As you exhale, direct the tailbone down towards the backs of the knees.
  • Inhale, and slowly come back up to Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat x 3
  • Rest afterwards in Hangover Pose (Uttanasana) for 30 seconds.

NEED HELP? If you need support while practicing the pose, hold the pole of a brush, broom or mop. Alternatively, place your hands on a kitchen counter. But keep the arms, shoulders and the sides of the neck relaxed.

STOP! Do not take the arms over the head if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart problems. Place your hands on your hips and just do the leg movements instead.