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How to Do the Yoga Half Chair Posture (Ardha Utkatasana)

The half chair posture strengthens the back, legs, shoulders, and arms and builds overall stamina for Yoga. The Sanskrit word ardha (pronounced ahrd-ha) means “half,” and utkata, (pronounced oot-kah-tah) translates as “extraordinary.” If you find this posture difficult or have problem knees, you may want to skip this position for now and return to it after your leg muscles become a little stronger.

Don’t overdo this exercise (either by holding the position too long or by repeating it more than you should), or you’ll have sore muscles the next day. But there’s no harm in experiencing some muscle soreness either, especially if you haven’t exercised in a long time.

  1. Start in the mountain posture and as you inhale, raise your arms forward and up overhead with palms facing each other.

  2. As you exhale, bend your knees and squat halfway to the floor.

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  3. Soften your arms but keep them overhead.

    Look straight ahead.

  4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 three times and then stay in Step 3 for 6 to 8 breaths.

Note: In the classic version of this posture, the feet are together and the arms are straight, with the fingers interlocked and the palms turned upward. The chin rests on the chest.

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