Utkatasana (Chair Pose) with a Twist
- Start with your legs together, toes touching, knees touching, back straight, shoulders relaxed.
- Start to inhale and as you inhale bring your hands up and over your head making sure to align your arms with your ears.
- Lock your elbows.
- As you exhale sink down as though you were sitting in a chair.
- Make sure that you can see your toes and that your knees are not leaning too far forward and covering your toes. Also make sure that your knees are together. Your knees should be directly above your ankles.
- Hold your torso as erect as possible. [Note: If you are new to this pose, you can stand with your feet hip-width apart.]
- Now bring your hands into the Namaskar mudra in front of your chest.
- Twist your torso to the right so that your left elbow makes contact with the outer edge of the right knee.
- Leverage the strength of your left arm to gently push your chest forward. Look up at the ceiling.
- Great to increase flexibility of the spine.
- Strengthens legs, hips and back.
- Helps in alleviating flat feet.
- Great to stretch the torso, shoulders and chest.
- Stretches your abdominal muscles as well.
- Great for sciatica and for arthritis of knees and ankles.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
- Practice with caution during menstruation.
- Those with lower back problems should be careful when practicing this posture.
- Avoid if you have a meniscus problem in the knee or any other knee problems.
Marichyasana (The Spinal Twist)
- Sit on the floor with legs extended out in front of you. Make sure your toes point straight up and knees are pushed into the ground. Make sure your back is absolutely straight.
- Start with the right leg. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the right foot on the inside of the left knee.
- Take the right hand and place it behind you so that your torso also twists to the right.
- Keep the left arm straight and elbow locked and place the elbow on the outside of the right knee. Hold on to the left knee.
- Now push slightly with the left arm and deepen your twist. Exhale as you do so.
- Look over your right shoulder.
- Repeat on the left side as well.
- This pose can also be performed without crossing the bent leg over to the inside of the other knee.
- Instead of holding the opposite knee you can also just keep your elbow bent
- Great for digestion.
- Helps flush toxins out of your system.
- Revitalizes you.
- Helps in reducing the fat around the sides and therefore gives shape to your body.
- Tones and massages the abdominal organs.
- Helps to improve the functioning of liver, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and intestines.
- Helps to relieve backache.
- Relieves lumbago.
- Increases the flexibility of the neck and shoulders.
- Helps to improve the alignment of the spinal cord and keeps it supple.
- Cures indigestion.
- Relieves flatulence.
- Do not practice if you have diarrhoea.
- Pregnant women shouldn’t practice this asana.
Marichyasana will wring out all the toxins in no time.