Some of the benefits of this powerful pose are:
- Toning of the muscles around the ankles, hips and knees
- Strengthening of the thighs
- Opening of the chest and shoulders
- Stretching of the Achilles tendons
- Stimulation of the circulatory system and abdominal organs
- Strengthening of the lower back and stretching of the upper back
It is also believed to relieve flat feet and increase stamina. Anyone with a knee or ankle injury should avoid this pose.
Beginners might feel more comfortable in half chair pose (ardha utkatasana), in which the squat is only half as deep as utkatasana. Another variation is revolved half chair (parivrtta ardha utkatasana), in which the hands are in prayer position and the upper body twists to the side.