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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Prasarita Padottanasana: Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Prasarita padottanasana (pra-sa-REE-tah pah-doh-tahn-AHS-an-uh) is a big stretch for the hamstrings and inner leg line. With many variations available, this pose is accessible for most practitioners. This is also a great pose in lieu of headstand.

Philosophy + Origin

Prasarita padottanasana has found its way into almost every style of yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar taught several variations of this posture, labeling them as A, B, C, and D. The most commonly practiced variation is prasarita padottanasana A. Prasarita padottanasana B is when the hands are on the hips and the head is lifted off the ground, not resting on the mat. Prasarita padottanasana C is the variation where the hands are interlaced and stretched behind the back and over the head as you fold. In the final variation taught by Iyengar, prasarita padottanasana D asks the student to grasp the big toe on each foot.

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