Tag Archives: utkatasana

awkward pose

Awkward Pose

Awkward Pose is a crucial part to warming up the body in the Bikram yoga series.  Stand alone, it is a posture that tones the legs, arms, and core.  The posture helps realign the body improving  and preventing many painful conditions.  The posture only works though if you set it up correctly.  Here are some tips to improving your awkward pose:

1st Part Awkward Pose:

  • Keep a six inch gap between the knees feet and hands
  • Keep legs and arms parallel to the floor
  • Relax your shoulders but tighten your arms by keeping your fingers together and focusing on stretching forward through the whole posture.
  • First allow the chest and upper body to come down to sit down as low as possible. Once sitting as low as possible, then focus on bringing your upper body back.
  • Keep 100% body weight in the heels.  You will feel like you might fall down backwards, but your arms continuously reaching forward will help you balance.
  • Focus on all your energy channeling into your arms, abdomen, and legs to relax your face and shoulders.


“If you allow your stomach to be loose, you will overtax your back muscles possibly causing back pain.” Craig Villani


2nd Part Awkward Pose:awkward pose

  • Come up onto your toes as much as possible.  If you think about your big and 2nd toe pressing into the floor you can come up higher.
  •  Focus on squeezing your calf muscles to help you balance.
  • Sit down until your hips touch an imaginary chair behind you to make sure you get the full benefits.  It is normal to feel your legs shake and burn.  It means you are warming up, burning calories, and toning your legs!
  • Spine should be perfectly straight, if you are leaning forward you need to come up higher on your toes!
  • Every time you come up focus on coming up slow and fully extending your knees to build more strength in the legs.

“Whenever there is shaking, there is always a threatened nerve. It’s NEVER an impulse saying, “If you keep going there could be trouble.” Shaking is not bad, it is your body creating new neural passageways and learning to strengthen and hold.” Emmy Cleaves

3rd Part Awkward Pose:

  • Only come up on your toes until your can bring your needs together.
  • Focus on squeezing your knees together like you have a quarter in between your knees.  This will keep the entire length of your thighs pressed together toning your inner thighs!
  • Keep your spine as straight as possible throughout the posture.
  • Work to exhale the entire way down and inhale the entire way up.

“Your mind will be screaming come up come up, but I will be be yelling ‘Chest up!  Sit down!  Stay there! and of course you will listen to me!” Bikram

Muscles Contracting:

  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Abdominal Muscles
  • Quadriceps

Stretches and Opens:

  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Arches
  • Calves
  • Toes
  • Pelvis
  • Shins


  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Intestines
  • Pancreas


  • Realigns hips and legs helping improve and prevent lower-back pain
  • Realigns knee joint benefiting the meniscus
  • Strengthens the arch of the foot improving and preventing flat feet, bunions and bowed legs
  • Relieves menstrual cramps
  • Improves and Prevents sciatica
  • Improves and Prevents arthritis in knees and hips
  • Heals chronically cold feet
  • Increases the circulation to the knees and ankles
  • Helps to relieve rheumatism and arthritis in the legs and helps to cure slipped discs and other problems of the lower spine