- Stand straight with your feet together
- Bend your knees
- Bring the palms together at the chest
- Twist to the right side and place the elbow against the thigh
- Stay for 5 breaths
- Repeat on the other side
Start by standing straight with the feet together. Ensure that the big toes and the heels are touching each other. Press all four corners of the feet into the ground, ensuring a stable base. Then bend the knees to come into chair pose. Keep the weight in the heels rather than in the toes, and make sure that the knees don't extend out further than the toes. You should be able to see your toes when you bend down. Tuck your tailbone under slightly and extend the spine upward. Draw the palms together in front of the chest, in anjali mudra. Then twist to your right side and bring the left elbow on the outer right thigh, pushing it inward. Draw the right shoulder back, as you open the chest and twist further. Keep the right elbow pointing up to the ceiling and the left one pointing down. Press your palms firmly into each other. Breathe deeply in the pose for 5 - 10 breaths and then come up, and repeat on the other side.
As a variation, rather than hooking the elbow to the thigh, you can also release the left hand on the floor, on the outside of the right foot. Then raise your right arm up. If you don't reach the floor, you can use a block. Keep the arms open in a straight line.
One of the major benefits of this asana is that is detoxifying. By twisting the body, the internal organs get squeezed, or ‘ringed’, removing toxins from the system. This pose also strengthens the thighs and ankles, and opens up the chest.
The counter indications for this pose are pregnancy, knee injuries and ankle injuries. If you have recently had a knee or ankle injury, you should avoid placing extra pressure on the joints. Instead of hooking the elbow to the outer thigh, you can do a milder twist by just turning to the right side. If you are pregnant, then you can avoid this pose.
- Detoxifies the body
- Strengthens the thighs and ankles
- Helps in grounding your energy
- Opens the chest
- Pregnancy / Knee injury / Ankle injury
- Tones the quadriceps femoris
- Stretches the pectoralis major
- Tones the abdominal muscle