No4 of 30 days, 30 postures!
UTKUTASANA or THUNDERBOLT POSE (fitting, as it looks like my feet have been hit by lightning!). This posture is also known as Chair pose as it looks like you're sitting on an invisible chair, or Fierce pose as the first part of the name 'Utkuta' translates to in Sanskrit.
I have to say, it is an awkward pose which takes a while to get comfortable with. It has many strengthening benefits and you'll often see it practiced in classic Ashtanga classes as it forms part of the Primary Series.
Keep the feet and legs together and imagine you're squeezing a tennis ball between the two.
Lengthen the arms and back as much as you can - the loveliest part of this posture is reaching up with the arms.
Keep the head in line with the arms and look toward the floor - this will keep your neck in a neutral position.
Breathe naturally - this will help as this posture generates heat and pumps the heart - don't hold your breath no matter how tempted you are to :) Modifications:
If you have super tight Achilles like I sometimes do, you can come up on to the toes and keep the arms in line with your shoulders. You will still experience the benefits of this strong posture that way.
Stimulates the heart - so very good for generating heat in the body.
Works the muscles in the arms and legs (obvs). Allows activation of the second chakra - Svadhishthana - located in the lower abdominal area which helps to balance emotions, ignite creativity and connection with oneself and others.
Take it easy your first few times with this one, just focus on bending the knees and then get the arms right.
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