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Utkatasana is a standing asana in modern yoga.[1] (Sanskrit: उत्कटासन; IAST: Utkaṭāsana), Chair Pose,[2] It was a squatting asana in medieval hatha yoga.[3]

Etymology and origins[edit]

Utkatasana shown as a squatting pose in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi Mysore Palace manuscript by Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar[3]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words utkaṭa (उत्कट) meaning "wild, frightening, above the usual, intense, gigantic, furious, or heavy",[4] and asana (आसन) meaning "posture" or "seat".[5]

The modern chair-like pose is said to originate with Krishnamacharya.[6] However an older version of the pose, with the yogin squatting lower down on to his heels, is shown in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi Mysore Palace manuscript by Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. The manuscript illustrates poses from the 15th century Hatha Yoga Pradipika.[3]


In Utkatasana, the knees are hips-width apart, the knees are bent, the hips are back, the chest is forward, and the arms are above the head, in line with the ears.[7]

Variations include a rotated pose, Parivritta Utkatasana.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Budilovsky, Joan; Adamson, Eve (2000). The complete idiot's guide to yoga (2 ed.). Penguin. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-02-863970-3.
  2. ^ "Chair Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Sjoman, Norman E. (1999). The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace. Abhinav Publications. pp. 40–41, plate 17. ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  4. ^ "Utkatasana". Ashtanga Yoga. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  5. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1 June 1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  6. ^ "Utkatasana | Chair Pose". Akasha Yoga Academy. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Chair | Utkatasana". Yoga Basics. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  8. ^ Active Interest Media (2004). Yoga Journal. Active Interest Media. p. 73. ISSN 0191-0965.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]