Goddess Pose: Utkata Konasana

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Utkata Konasana: Goddess Pose


 

Utkata konasana (oot-KAH-tuh cone-AHS-uh-nuh), also known as the goddess pose or fiery angle pose, is a pose to help activate base energy centers while stretching and toning the lower body. This pose helps connect to the inherent inner goddess, finding a common space with the 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.

STEP-BY-STEP

  1. Start in a wide standing stance. Turn your toes out and your heels in, so your feet are pointed out at about 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. Spread your fingertips wide and activate the muscles across your back.
  4. Engage your core muscles and draw your tailbone toward the floor. Keep your spine long.
  5. Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute, then release.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS

  • Place your hands together at the heart center to ease up on your shoulders.

SANSKRIT

  • Utkata = powerful or fierce
  • Kona = angle
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

  • Stretches your hips, groin, and chest.
  • Tones and strengthens the core muscles.
  • Strengthens the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles.
  • Heats the body and increases circulation.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS

  • Encourages downward energy (apana).
  • Activates root and sacral chakras.

PREPARATORY POSES

  • Reclined bound angle pose | Supta baddha konasana
  • Standing figure four pose | Eka pada utkatasana
  • Garland pose | Malasana

SEQUENTIAL POSES

  • Temple pose
  • Side lunge pose
  • Firefly pose | Titibasana

COUNTER POSES

  • Wide-legged forward fold | Prosarita
  • Standing forward bend | Uttanasana
  • Eagle pose | Garudasana

 

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Ardha Uttanasana: Half Standing Forward Bend

halfstandingforward stephschwartz

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

An effective stretch for your hamstrings and calves ardha uttanasana (ARE-dah OOT-tan-AHS-anna), is often used during vinyasa sequences to connect the breath as you flow from one posture to the next.

Philosophy + Origin

One of the reasons ardha uttanasana is used so much in vinyasa yoga classes is that it positions the body for chaturanga dandasana. Because it engages the navel and core, it’s a powerful pose for warming up the body, which is why it’s included in warm-up sequences. Despite its sometimes transitory nature, the pose also engages the navel chakra (manipura), which can bring the practitioner increased confidence and willpower.

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