The Revolved Chair Pose, also known as Parivrtta Utkatasana, is a powerful and invigorating intermediate yoga pose that demands balance, strength, and a keen sense of body awareness. This pose is a twist on the traditional Chair Pose, adding a rotation that challenges your balance and works your core muscles in a new way.
This pose is often incorporated into Vinyasa yoga sequences, and it begins from a standing position, bending the knees as if sitting in a chair, and then twisting the torso to one side. The Revolved Chair Pose not only strengthens the legs and core but also stimulates the abdominal organs, which can improve digestion.
As with any yoga pose, it’s crucial to practice the Revolved Chair Pose under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor. This pose can be quite challenging, especially for beginners, and requires proper alignment and technique to prevent injury. With time and practice, however, it can become a rewarding part of any yoga routine.
|Sanskrit Name and Pronunciation||Parivrtta Utkatasana (par-ee-vrt-tah oot-kah-TAHS-uh-nuh)|
|Pose Type||Twist, Standing, Hip Opener|
How to Do the Revolved Chair Pose
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip distance apart.
- Bend your knees and lower your hips as if you are sitting in a chair, coming into Chair Pose (Utkatasana).
- Bring your hands together at your chest in prayer position.
- Twist your torso to the right, hooking your left elbow outside of your right knee.
- Press your palms together to deepen the twist, keeping your chest lifted and your spine long.
- Turn your gaze upwards towards the ceiling, if it feels comfortable for your neck.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths, keeping your knees aligned and your weight evenly distributed between your feet.
- To exit the pose, untwist your torso and stand back up to a standing position.
- Take a few deep breaths in this position before repeating the pose on the left side.
|Upper Body:||Deltoids, Rotator Cuffs, Trapezius, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Pectoralis Major, Serratus Anterior|
|Core:||Rectus Abdominis, Obliques|
|Back:||Erector Spinae, Latissimus Dorsi, Rhomboids|
|Glutes:||Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus|
|Legs:||Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Calves, Adductors|
While there are many research-backed mental and physical benefits of yoga, there are few — if any — official studies on the Revolved Chair pose. However, it’s generally believed that practicing the Revolved Chair pose provides several health benefits.
The Revolved Chair pose requires a combination of hip, knee, and ankle flexibility and the ability to twist the spine. Practicing this pose can help increase flexibility in these areas over time.
The Revolved Chair pose requires a significant amount of lower body and core strength to hold the pose. Practicing this pose can help build strength in the legs, glutes, and core muscles.
The Revolved Chair pose involves balancing on both feet while twisting the upper body, which can help improve balance and coordination.
Opens the Chest and Shoulders
The twisting aspect of this pose helps to open the chest and shoulders, which can help improve posture and breathing.
The Revolved Chair pose requires focus, balance, and strength, which can help calm the mind and promote relaxation.
Drawbacks and Risks
The Revolved Chair Pose is a challenging pose that requires balance, flexibility, and strength. However, it also comes with potential risks and drawbacks if not performed correctly.
Knees. The Revolved Chair Pose requires bending the knees and balancing the body’s weight on them. If the knees are not aligned properly or if they are not strong enough, there is a risk of injury or strain to the knee joints.
Lower Back. This pose involves a twist of the torso, which can put strain on the lower back. It’s crucial to engage the core and maintain a straight back to avoid any potential injuries or discomfort.
Neck. In the Revolved Chair Pose, the neck is often turned to one side. This can cause strain or discomfort if not done correctly. It’s important to keep the neck aligned with the spine and not to force the twist.
Shoulders. The twist in this pose can also put strain on the shoulders. It’s important to keep the shoulders relaxed and not to force the twist.
Wrists. In some variations of the Revolved Chair Pose, the hands are brought together in a prayer position. This can put pressure on the wrists, especially if they are not properly aligned or if the pose is held for a long time.
If you experience discomfort or pain while practicing this pose, stop immediately, modify it, or come out of it. It’s also important to warm up properly before attempting this pose and gradually build up to its full expression. Always practice under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid when practicing the Revolved Chair pose.
- Not Warming Up. Just like with the Wild Thing pose, it’s crucial to warm up before attempting the Revolved Chair pose. This can include yoga practices such as sun salutations, forward bends, and other poses that help warm the hips, spine, and shoulder muscles.
- Twisting from the Lower Back. The Revolved Chair pose involves a deep twist, which can put a strain on the lower back if not performed with proper alignment. It’s important to initiate the twist from the navel and ribcage, not the lower back, to avoid strain or injury.
- Misaligning the Knees. In the Revolved Chair pose, both knees should be aligned with each other. If one knee is pushed forward, it can put undue stress on the hip and knee joint of the forward leg.
- Forcing the Twist. It’s important to remember that the depth of the twist in the Revolved Chair pose should come from the rotation of the spine, not from forcing the arm against the leg. Forcing the twist can lead to strain or injury.
- Not Using Props. If you’re new to the Revolved Chair pose or have limited flexibility or strength, it can be helpful to use props such as blocks or straps to support the body and help you find proper alignment.
Modifications and Variations
If you’re new to the Revolved Chair Pose or have limited flexibility or strength, several modifications can help you build up to the full expression of the pose. Here are some modifications to try:
If you’re having trouble reaching your elbow to your knee, you can use props such as blocks or blankets to support your body and help you find proper alignment. Place the blocks or blankets under your hand to help lift your body off the ground.
Practice on Your Knees
You can try practicing on your knees if you have trouble holding the pose on one foot. Place your hands on the ground and lift one leg, reaching for your knee with your elbow. This modification can help you build strength and stability in the pose.
Practice with a Wall
If you’re having trouble finding balance in the Revolved Chair pose, try practicing with a wall for support. Place your hands on the wall and lift one leg off the ground, reaching for your knee with your elbow. This modification can help you find stability and build confidence in the pose.
Practice the Mountain Pose
This pose can help stretch and strengthen the back muscles, preparing you for the Revolved Chair pose. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Gradually, try to twist your upper body to one side while keeping your lower body stable. This will help you get used to the twisting motion required in the Revolved Chair pose.