Bull and Bow

Awkward Pose

how to do awkward pose or utkatasana pose in bikram hot yoga. Step by step guide.

Awkward Pose - Utkatasana

Awkward Pose or Utkatasana, is the final part of the warm up section of postures in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series and focusses on the legs, warming them up and getting them ready for class. To get the full benefits of this posture make sure your alignment is precise. 

Awkward Pose and your feet 

Alignment is very important in Awkward. Your feet should be hip width, six inches (approx. fifteen centimetres) apart with the heels invisible behind your toes. This sounds easy but does depend on your anatomy. If you have bunions or other injuries that have changed the alignment of your feet then you might need to adapt your stance. You can read more about this on my blog on this very topic. 

Foot placement guide for awkward pose utkatasana from the bikram hot yoga series

Your foot alignment is relative to your anatomy. There is no one size fits all. Align your feet with an imaginary (or you can draw one on there!) line on each foot that runs from the centre of your heel to the middle of your toes, usually between the second and third toe. Then keep those lines parallel as you open your feet. Your heels will be invisible behind your toes. 

Awkward Pose and Knee Tracking

If you have aligned your feet correctly, your knees should track directly in the same line as your ankles as you sit down into the chair. Your toes will want to turn outward or inward but hold them straight. As you look into the mirror your knees should be aligned (in front of) your hips and your feet should be aligned with your knees. Your knees will want to turn or bend toward each other but keep them facing forward. 

Awkward Pose - Second Part

In the second part of the posture again keep your hips, knees and ankles in one line as you stand up on your toes. As you sit straight down your knees come forward and your hips stay aligned over your heels. Kneecaps still face the mirror. 

Awkward Pose - Third Part 

This time your knees come together as you use your inner thigh strength to come down, again your hips and ankles are aligned. 
the bikram hot yoga posture awkward pose in three parts

Neutral Spine in Hot Yoga

In awkward pose it's important to really engage your core and keep your spine in a neutral position.  This posture can be a trap for those with lordosis. This forward tilt of the pelvis lets your backside push out and tends to crunch down the lumbar spine.

To overcome this work hard to re-establish neutral spine. When you are sitting down in the chair with your alignment all set then pull your core in firmly, the lower abdominals and lengthen your tailbone down to bring your pelvis into better alignment. This will allow you to sit further into the posture but requires work!

Do you have the right hot yoga towel?

The Archer towel is made for hot yoga.

The distance between the centre line and the outside of the centre circle is 15cm or 6 inches. You need to check your distance with your own anatomy to ensure you have the placement right, however once this is set in place you can use this guide to quickly and easily set your feet up correctly for this posture. To purchase The Archer Hot Yoga Towel click here

How to align your feet in awkward pose using the archer yoga towel the best yoga towel for hot or bikram yoga postures

Free Ebook on Hot Yoga

Would you like to get a free PDF copy of our ebook 'Your Alignment In Hot Yoga'? 60+ pages of hints and tips to get the most out of your hot yoga practice. 

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