Yoga Pose: Utkata Konasana

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This is Utkata konasana (oot-KAH-tuh cone-AHS-uh-nuh), also known as Goddess pose. This is a pose to help you harness the forces of the universe while stretching and toning your lower body. This pose helps each of us connect to our inherent inner goddess, finding a common space with this powerful feminine energy.

Philosophy:

As you practice Utkata Konasana, be conscious of the feminine energy at work. This energy can be felt throughout your daily life, both as a part of this pose, and also in your alignment of feelings, practices, and mantras everywhere you go. When it comes to empowering postures, goddess pose could be in the top ten; legs grounded and strong, arms spread and muscles of the back engaged; the body taking up space and the mind therefore feeling more confident and powerful.

Sanskrit:

This pose can be broken down into three parts:

Utkata = powerful or fierce

Kona = angle

Asana = pose

Physical Benefits:

  • Stretches your hips, groin, and chest

  • Tones and strengthens the core muscles

  • Strengthens the quads and inner thighs

  • Heats the body and increases circulation

Step-By-Step Guidance:

  1. Start in a wide standing stance with toes turned out and your heels turned in, so your feet are at a 45 degree angle.

  2. Bend your knees in the same direction as your toes, and lower your hips down toward the height of your knees.

  3. Reach your arms out at shoulder height and bend your elbows so that your fingertips point skyward into cactus hands. Spread your fingertips wide and feel the muscles across your back activate.

  4. Engage your core muscles. Draw the tailbone in the direction of the floor as you reach out through the crown of the head. Keep your spine long and your muscles engaged.

  5. Stay here for 30 - 60 seconds, then release.

Variations:

For a bit more twist in this pose, try turning the upper body 90 degrees one way to the side and then twisting to the opposite side. Do this 3-5 times on either side.

Modifications:

For shoulder injuries, place your hands together at heart centre