Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Hatha Yoga helps build strength, confidence and flexibility. This standing pose stimulates the bones of the hips and lower back, areas often cited in bone loss. It does not require flexibility and can be done in ordinary clothing. Place your feet parallel and hip width apart. Balance your weight on the four corners of your feet with your arches lifted. Bend your knees, keeping them hip width apart, and reach your sitting bones back, as if to sit onto a chair. Your hands are on your hips at first. Keep your shoulders back and your head in line with your spine. Your ankles, knees and hips bend at about 45 degrees, and your spine stays long and does not round. When you have practiced the folding actions several times, stretch your arms vigorously to the sides while your shoulder blades pull toward your spine. Hold for as long as you wish, breathing normally.

Ellen Saltonstall has been teaching yoga for four decades, and welcomes students of all levels. She specializes in therapeutics for conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and has published books on these topics. She runs a studio in New York City, and she travels the world as a guest teacher. Visit, and on Facebook. Contact her at, or 212-727-7288.