How online Yoga helped me learn more about poses than a class


As a casual yogi who enjoys the physical, spiritual, and mental benefits of yoga, I welcome anything that will help me improve and deepen my practice. No matter how long you practice yoga, or how advanced you become, these tools and guides are essential to keeping things fresh. You may have learned how to perform Downward Facing Dog decades ago, but that doesn’t mean that you are above being guided through correct positioning and reminded of its benefits.

It is because of this that the movement and sesion videos on don’t simply just go through the motions. Individual movements feature vocalized alignment that significantly help beginners and advanced yogis alike.

To help you understand this valuable feature, I conducted a bit of an experiment, one that you can try yourself! I took one pose, practiced it myself, then performed it along with its movement video on, and then tried it along with a warm up and a cool down movement. Find out how this little exercise panned out:

Attempting Powerful Pose without Sound Instruction is Dangerous

powerful pose

Do Powerful pose incorrectly and you’re asking for trouble with your knees.  Check out what The Yoga Doctor, Sr. Eden Goldman has to say about it!  Lucky that within Yogasync, alignment yoga and expert instruction keep you safe.

Powerful Pose is indicated as a Level 2 movement on It is definitely doable for beginners, however holding it for an extended period of time may be a bit challenging. It is a full body strengthening pose that works your thighs, arms, and glutes in particular. Powerful Pose is the translation of this pose’s sanskrit name Utkatasana, however it is also commonly known as Chair Pose, because it appears that the yogi is sitting in an invisible chair.

I have practiced this position many times in my life and it is one of my favorites. However, because it is a fairly common pose, sometimes the specifics can get a little lost along the way. When I first attempted to perform this pose on my own without any intro, outro, or guidance, a few questions arose. Are my feet to be flat on the floor or are my heels raised slightly? Should my arms be shooting straight up into the air or angled slightly shooting more forward? Is my back meant to be flat and perpendicular to the ground or am I to lean forward?

Attempting to answer these questions as best I could, I decided to keep my feet flat, and keep my back and arms as straight as possible. Once in this position, I was unsure how long to hold it. As I recalled, Powerful Pose is usually held for a relatively extended period of time. I decided that five deep breaths in and out seemed like the proper length of time.

While in the pose, I could definitely feel the strengthening in my thighs and the back of my legs. I made sure to keep my shoulders down and stretched my arms out. Because I was trying to keep my back and arms straight up, I found it somewhat difficult to deepen into the pose and bend my knees further while holding it. After my final breath out, I swooped up my arms, straightened my legs, and returned to Tadasana.

Powerful Pose with guided alignment gives greater gains…safely!

After completing Powerful Pose on my own, I queued up the Powerful Pose movement video on It begins by standing in Tadasana with feet together. This is something I did not do when performing the pose by myself. I notice that when practice yoga by myself without any guidance from a video or instructor that I often forget little yet important things like this.

The video then instructs to place feet hip distance apart, bend your knees as much as possible while keeping your chest lifted. As I look at the screen I notice a few answers to my questions. Feet are flat on the ground as I did previously. However, because the knees are meant to be bent deeply, the back and arms are in fact angled forward. I found this to be a bit more comfortable and I was able to hold the pose longer this way.

One advantage of Yogasync’s guided alignment are the descriptive notes to help better deepen and correctly position yourself. In Powerful Pose, such notes include:

  • Ensuring that your knees are pointing straight over your second toes
  • Drawing your pubic bone up toward your navel, lengthening your sacrum and engaging your lower buttocks
  • Keeping your heart centre open by lengthening the front of the arms and drawing the back of the arms down into the shoulder sockets

These notes and the guided alignment as a whole enabled me to really deepen into this pose, ensure correct positioning, and really feel the strengthening in my legs and arms. After coming out of the pose, I definitely felt a difference from my own practice. I noticed a clearer mind and more refreshed feeling throughout my body.

Powerful Pose in a sequence

Of course, yoga poses are really meant to be practiced alongside one another, not just by themselves. Practicing the guided alignment of Yogasync’s Powerful Pose with a warm up and a cool down pose offers an even different experience. The sync Yoga Shorts – Powerful Pose sandwiches Utkatasana between Mountain Pose On A Wall With Arms Above Head and Half Standing Forward Bend Hands On Blocks. The first prepares you for the extended arms in Powerful Pose as well as the overall strength and length involved. The second releases your arms and back and is almost an inversion of Powerful Pose that helps you return to a more balanced state. It would be interesting to add on even more to create an entire sequence that all revolves around Powerful Pose.

Now it’s your turn! Choose a movement, whether it’s one of your favorites or one you always find challenging, and compare your own practice to the guided alignment provided by

Yogasync Members always benefit from safe and expert tuition.

Yogasync Me:  Ever tried an aligned Down Dog?  Its a whole new experience!

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About Sarah Gilbert

Sarah hails from her beloved hometown of Cleveland, Ohio where she lives with her family and two rescue dogs. She fell in love with yoga when she first experienced it as a part of her high school gym class. Since then she has practiced on and off but really started attending classes regularly this past year after joining a local studio. Yoga has helped her life physically, mentally, and spiritually and wants her readers to know that yoga is for everyone no matter what shape, size, or skill level you are. She hopes her blogs will help the average yogi deepen their practice and understanding.

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