Bikram Yoga Chicago

Why so Awkward?

Awkward aka Utkatasana (Sanskrit)

This Bikram Yoga position continues warming up the body for the rest of the hot yoga series and helps build strength in the limbs and brings fresh blood to the knees and ankles. Say goodbye to cold feet, yogis!

Awkward Pose has 3 parts. This group of postures begins to build your stamina by working with the large muscles in your legs to hold the shape of the posture. Awkward creates length along the spine, which strengthens the muscles needed for a healthy lower back. Maintaining a constant stretching up sensation in the upper body for all 3 is key to the successful execution of the posture.

The 1st part your spine is making a backbend while the feet stay flat on the floor. This opens your hips, strengths the front of your ankles and shins and strengthens the muscles along your spine. It is a good challenge to figure out how to back bend the spine and keep the abdominal muscles tight and pulled in.

The 2nd part your spine is straight and tall so you create a strong back and abdominal muscles to support this shape. By standing high on your toes you stretch the front of your ankles and strengthen the muscles on the arches of your feet. Here the challenge is to sit exactly chair height, not too high and not too low and without losing the lifting up of your heels!

The 3rd part you also lift your spine straight and tall but sit all the way down (without resting on the hips) by squeezing your knees and thighs together. The squeezing together of the legs helps you safely compress the knee joint affecting the blood circulation to the joint. When you release the posture, you have better blood circulation to the knee joint helping to heal many various kinds of knee problems. All three parts require you to constantly stretch your arms forward to keep your balance, which in turn tones and strengthens your arm muscles and mind!


  • Awkward Pose will tone and shape your legs.
  • It heals chronically cold feet.
  • It also helps relieve rheumatism and arthritis in the legs, and helps to cure slipped discs and other problems in the lower spine.
  • Gives you great legs and arms
  • Strengthens and trims body
  • Heats and energizes the body
  • Makes hip joints flexible
  • Relieves joint and muscular pain
  • Increases circulation to the knees and ankles
  • Good for arthritis and gout
  • Strengthens and firms all muscles of the legs and upper arms
  • Increases hip flexibility and relieves muscular aches and cramps
  • 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


  • Keep a six-inch gap between the knees, feet, and hands – make sure all are parallel to the floor
  • Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and down throughout all three stages of the posture
  • Focus on stretching your arms to ease the exhaustion
  • All five fingers should be together and energized
  • Breathing always normal

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