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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 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.

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.

Mudra: Chaturmukha Mudra

This mudra involves placing both hands in front of you, spreading the fingers while bringing the tips of each opposing finger together until they touch.

Mantra:

Invocation to Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutra

This mantra, a chant invoking one of the forefathers of yoga, is often used at the beginning of classes or as an introduction to chanting the Yoga Sutra. This mantra reminds us of the healing powers of yoga and, when used at the beginning of your practice, can serve as a way to honor the history of yoga and give thanks to its lineage of teachers and the goddesses we connect with during this pose. Reciting this mantra can help remind us that yoga is meant to purify our minds, heal our bodies and impress upon us the importance of speech and breath during our practices.

“yogena chittasya padena vacham malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena yo ’pakarottam pravaram muninam patanjalim pranjalir anato ’smi”

Translation: With palms folded together, I bow respectfully to Patanjali, the best of sages, Who dispels the impurities of the mind with Yoga, Of speech through Grammar, and of the body by means of Medicine.

Preparatory Poses:

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

Follow-up Poses:

  • Temple pose
  • Firefly pose | Titibasana
  • Wide-legged forward fold | Prosarita

Contraindications:

Please be mindful in this posture if you have sustained a recent or chronic injury to the hips, legs, or shoulders.

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • For shoulder injuries, place your hands together at heart center.

Step-By-Step:

  1. Start in a wide standing stance. Turn your toes out and your heels in, so your feet are 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 in the direction of the floor. Keep your spine long and your muscles engaged.
  5. Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute, then release.

 

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