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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Urdhva Mukha Svanasana: Upward Facing Dog Pose

upwardfacingdog stephschwartz

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Urdhva mukha svanasana (OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna) is a challenging backbend commonly seen as part of the transition series in vinyasa yoga.

Philosophy + Origin

The Mahabharata tells a story about a loyal dog who accompanies Yudhishthira, one of the five Pandava brothers, to the gates of heaven. Lord Indra greets the pair at the gates, but tells Yudhishthira that the dog is not allowed into heaven. Upon hearing this, the brother argues for the sake of the dog, telling Lord Indra of its devotion and loyalty. Yudhishthira says that because the dog has been so loyal to him, he will return that loyalty. At this moment, the dog is revealed to be Dharma, and Yudhisthira and his loyal companion are welcomed joyously into heaven. When practicing upward facing dog, remind yourself of the loyalty and dedication you have to your practice and showing up each day in your life. Persistence is always rewarded.

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