Yoga Lesson Plan With Chair Pose (Utkatasana) As The Peak Pose


Chair pose, also known as Utkatasana in Sanskrit, is a popular standing yoga posture that offers a wide range of physical and mental benefits.

This pose is named “chair” pose because it mimics the act of sitting on a chair, without actually having a chair beneath you.

In this post, I’ll provide you with a free chair pose-themed yoga lesson plan that you can download, explore the benefits, cover some modifications you can use, and tips for teaching it.

But first, it’s important to pronounce Utkatasana correctly.

Utkatasana is pronounced as


Here’s a breakdown of the pronunciation:

  • “oot” rhymes with “boot”
  • “kah” has a short ‘a’ sound, like in “car”
  • “TAHS” has a short ‘a’ sound, similar to “toss”
  • “uh” is a short, unstressed sound, similar to the ‘a’ in “sofa”
  • “nuh” rhymes with “huh”

Say each syllable slowly and then combine them to pronounce “Utkatasana” correctly.

Next up, is the free yoga lesson plan.

Free Yoga Lesson Plan With Chair Pose (Utkatasana) As The Peak Pose 

The yoga lesson plan (see below) was created using the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana) is the peak pose for the plan. Peak pose-themed lesson plans are a favourite for most yoga teachers. You learned how to create a peak pose-themed lesson plan during your yoga teacher training, but just in case you have the desire to learn more, here’s an article I wrote with my formula on how to sequence around a peak pose.

Short Lesson Plan Download 

Chair Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan (short plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a short version of the lesson plan. The short version is perfect for taking into class with you. It’s short and sweet.

Long Lesson Plan Download

Chair Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan (long plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a long version of the lesson plan. The long version has everything you need to practice the lesson plan before getting to class. You can take it to class with you (but you may prefer to take the short version). The long version is a great handout to give to your students, especially your one-to-one students. It immediately shows your professionalism and increases your expertise in the eyes of your students.

Stream Lesson Plan

Chair Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan (stream plan)

Each yoga lesson plan you create within the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner comes with a video stream version of the lesson plan. You’ll be able to provide the streams to students as a URL, so they can practice from home.

If you liked the lesson plan, click here for an article I wrote called 1001 Yoga Class Planning Tips & Handouts For Yoga Teachers.

Next up, is a free yoga class handout.

Free Chair Pose Class Handout 

Below is a doodle drawing I created. Hope you like it. You can download, print and give to your students.

Chair Pose Utkatasana Yoga Lesson Plan

Next up, are some themes you can use for a lesson plan with “Chair” as the peak pose.

4 Chair Pose (Utkatasana) Lesson Plan Themes

Below are four themes you can use in your class when you have Utkatasana as your peak pose:

Yoga Class Theme 1: Energy Booster
Chair Pose helps boost energy, so is good to include it in sequences to keep the energy high. It makes the perfect Peak Pose for a high-energy yoga class.

Yoga Class Theme 2: Stand Up For Yourself
Utkatasana refers to Fierce Pose whereas Utkata means fierce.

So, you could include a “fierce theme” with this pose as your Peak Pose. Sometimes it can be Yogic to be a fierce warrior (e.g. to stand up for a cause you believe in such as climate change).

Yoga Class Theme 3: Less Is More
Allow yourself to sit in your chair and relax.

In this day and age, we are perpetually rushing around. Take a yogic chill pill and relax. The sitting position implies a unique state unlike standing with its relation to movement.

The chair signifies not only the resting of the body but also the focusing of the mind. The focus of the mind is reflected in the spiritual context of the chair.

Yoga Class Theme 4: Oil Your Hips
Chair pose requires a lot of strength with the quadriceps muscles to help your hips provide enough support.

So, if you’re using the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner to create yoga lesson plans, do a search in the anatomy filter for “hips”, and you’ll find 100+ poses that are good to stretch and strengthen hips.

Click here to see the 100+ poses that are good for hips in our free Yoga Pose Directory.

Next up, are teaching steps using visualisation. 

How To Teach Chair Pose (Utkatasana) Using Visualisation & Humour

Here are teaching steps for Chair pose using visualisation, and a bit of humour, which helps make the pose more memorable for your students.

Chair Pose & The Royal Throne 

Imagine you’re royalty (as I’m writing this Prince Charles is a week away from being crowned as King of Great Britain). So, imagine you’re a prince or princess preparing to sit on a royal throne. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a deep, regal, belly breath, and as you exhale, raise your arms overhead like you’re giddy with the prospect of ruling over a kingdom of plebs. Your palms are facing each other because as royalty you’re part divine, and the prayer hands is a sign of respect to the Gods. Bend your knees, lowering your hips gracefully onto your throne. Engage your core, which needs to be strong to rule a kingdom. Keep your back straight, because only plebs slouch. Gaze forward with the wisdom and poise of a monarch. Feel the strength of your divinity surging through your legs. Hold this majestic pose, inhaling and exhaling, as you connect with your inner prince (or princess). 

4 Quick Tips  For Teaching Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Tip 1: Heels
It’s important to keep your weight towards your heels, rather than on your toes, to avoid putting pressure on your knees.

Tip 2: Block
If you have any knee or ankle injuries, you can modify the pose by placing a block or cushion beneath your feet.

Tip 3: Core
Keep your core engaged throughout the pose to maintain stability and balance.

Tip 4: Eyes Closed
You can challenge yourself by practising chair pose with your eyes closed, which can help to improve balance and focus.

7 Modifications For Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Modification 1: Yoga Block
Place a block between your thighs.

Modification 2: Palms
Join palms overhead.

Modification 3: Wall
If balancing in this pose is a challenge, use a wall behind to support the hips in Chair Pose with the wall as a prop.

Modification 4: Stiff Shoulders
If your shoulders are stiff, there’s no need to raise them above your head. Instead, simply stretch your arms in front of you in alignment with your chest.

Modification 5: Place Hands On Thighs
If your chest and shoulders are stiff, start by placing your hands on your thighs, palms facing down. Then slowly raise your arms overhead.

Modification 6: Wider Stance
If bringing your ankles and knees together is hard on the thighs, widen your stance, to begin with.

Modification 7: Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant keep your feet hip-distance apart while practising Utkatasana, for better grip and stability.

12 Variations For Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

In every yoga class, you’ll have one or more students who won’t be able to do the full expression of the pose. That’s where pose variations come to the rescue.

Below are 12 variations of Chair Pose:

Variation 1
Chair pose with arms behind

Variation 2
Chair squat with a chair as a prop

Variation 3
Goddess pose with Anjali Mudra

Variation 4
Mountain pose with arms up I

Variation 5
Mountain pose with arms up II

Variation 6
Mountain pose with arms up III

Variation 7
Palm tree I pose

Variation 8
Palm tree II pose

Variation 9
Palm Tree III pose 

Variation 10
Palm tree on tiptoes pose

Variation 11
Single-leg stand pose 

Variation 12
Staff pose with arms raised

12 Benefits Of Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Below are eight questions you might get asked by your students:

“Will Chair Pose help strengthen my hips?”

Yes. The position of the hips in this pose is perfectly placed, taking the weight of the upper body. With practice, the muscles around your hips gain strength.

“Will Chair Pose Deep give me a deep stretch to the upper body?” 

Yes. The entire upper body, shoulders, chest, spine, neck, and back get stretched in Chair Pose.

“Will Chair Pose give me strong legs?”

Yes. This pose is one of the best poses for strengthening your legs. The bending of the knees adds good stress to the thighs (at the quadriceps, hamstring, and calves) which strengthens the entire leg.

“Will Chair Pose help prevent knee injury?”

Yes. When in this pose your knee joints and ankles get toned and strong. While the upper body at the hips bends, the lower body takes some weight, giving the knee and ankle joints a good amount of pressure. This pressure slowly improves the joints and helps prevent knee injury.

“Will Chair Pose give me a six-pack?”

I can’t guarantee the six-pack, but I can guarantee that this pose does an amazing job of massaging your abdominal muscles. The core muscles get a great workout in the pose because you need to tighten your abdominal muscles while holding the pose. Bringing your navel close to the spine helps tighten the abdominal muscles.

“Will Chair Pose massage my organs?”

Yes. Bringing your navel close to the spine helps tighten the abdominal muscles, and, which is like giving your organs a healthy massage.

“Will Chair Pose open my chest for improved breathing?”

Yes. Utkatasana (Chair pose) opens your chest for improved breathing: The raising of the shoulders expands your chest which helps the diaphragm to expand, which improves breathing.

“Will Chair Pose help calm my nervous system?”

Yes. This Utkatasana (Chair pose)will improve your nervous system. With the deep spinal stretch, the nervous system gets massaged.

“Will Chair Pose strengthen my lower body?”

Yes. Utkatasana (Chair pose) targets the lower body muscles, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. The constant contraction of these muscles during the pose helps to build strength, improve stability, and enhance endurance.

“Will Chair Pose improves my posture?”

Yes. Utkatasana (Chair pose) helps to align the spine, shoulders, and hips, which in turn improves overall posture. This can help alleviate pain and discomfort in the back, neck, and shoulders caused by poor posture.

“Will Chair Pose stimulates my digestion?”

Yes. The compression of the abdomen during Utkatasana (Chair pose) can help to stimulate digestion and relieve constipation.

“Will Chair Pose help build my confidence?”

Yes. Utkatasana (Chair pose) requires a lot of strength and balance, which can be challenging for some practitioners. By practising this pose regularly and improving your technique, you can build confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

George’s Conclusion

George's Conclusion

In conclusion, Chair Pose (Utkatasana) is a powerful posture that offers a range of physical and mental benefits.

It is an ideal peak pose for a peak pose-themed yoga lesson plan. Click here for 10 beginner yoga lesson plans with peak poses.

Your students will enjoy strengthening their lower bodies, improving their posture, stimulating their digestion, and building their confidence. Remember to teach the proper technique and provide modifications as needed.

Hey, while you’re here, you might as well get your hands on 37 of my free Yoga lesson plans.

Get Your Yogic Hands On 37 Of My Free Yoga Lesson Plans

Below are 37 free downloadable yoga lesson plans that I’ve created for my own yoga classes using the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. Feel free to use them for your own yoga classes, or as inspiration to come up with your own yoga class themes.

Become A Peaceful Warrior Yoga Lesson Plan

Caterpillar To Butterfly Yoga Lesson Plan

How Heavy Is This Glass Of Water Yoga Lesson Plan

Surrender To Slowness Yoga Lesson Plan

You Don’t Need Permission To Shine: Just Show Up, Shine & Be Yourself

Abiciously Delicious Core Yoga Lesson Plan

Chair Yoga Lesson Plan I 

Chair Yoga Lesson Plan II

Chair Yoga For Seniors Lesson Plan

Dolphin Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Moon Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations Chair Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations A Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations B Yoga Lesson Plan

Sun Salutations C Yoga Lesson Plan

Camel Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan

Downward Facing Dog Pose Variations Lesson Plan

Plank Peak Pose Yoga Lesson Plan

Revolved Poses Yoga Lesson Plan

Twists-Themed Yoga Lesson Plan: 41 Twist Poses To Whip Your Student’s Cores Into Shape

Valentines Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga for Cyclists Lesson Plan

Yoga for Swimmers Lesson Plan

Yoga For Seniors Lesson Plan

Hatha Yoga Lesson Plan

Kundalini Yoga Lesson Plan

Pregnancy Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Arthritic Spine Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Asthma Yoga Lesson Plan 

Yoga Therapy: Hips Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Opening Upper Back, Neck & Shoulders Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Restorative Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Soothe Sciatica Yoga Lesson Plan

Yoga Therapy: Varicose Veins Yoga Lesson Plan

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