Breaking Down the Pose – Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair Pose

Have you ever been telling your friend about a yoga class you took and been annoyed when their response was “I just don’t think yoga is a real workout”. Well so have we, and we 100% attribute it to people not fully understanding the small intricate movements that force them to work a lot harder in each pose.

Our yoga pose breakdown series shows a visual of the big cues you should be focusing on, as well as highlighting the benefits and risks of the featured poses. Feel free to share with your skeptical friends to help them advance their own yoga practices.

Parivrtta Utkatasana Twisted Chair Yoga Pose Fluid Frame Photography

Twisted chair pose is one of the best postures for detoxifying the body and building strength. The bent knees engages  and builds strength in your quadriceps, and the twist is known for ringing out the toxins in the upper body. The aim is to get your thighs parallel to the floor but that ability comes with time and practice. The emotional benefits of this pose are feeling grounded, and giving you confidence.

To get into this pose start in Utkatasana (chair pose). Bring your palms together at the center of your chest and twist to one side. It is important to note that the twist comes from the spine/torso, not from just the shoulders and neck. Wrap your elbow around your thigh and begin to push into the thigh to lift the chest and collarbones towards the sky. Consistently check in with your back knee as it should be in line with the front knee.

A common mistake is letting the back hip drop in order to deepen the twist. As long as your knees are together, you can be sure that the twist is coming from the right spine and not the hips. Also, be sure to keep your collar bones broadened and your chest lifted.

Interested in mastering your twists? Check out this online yoga class from Jesse Schein “Is my Twist Aligned”.

Looking for more Yoga detox? Try our Yoga for Detox Journey series!

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