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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Phalakasana: Plank Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Phalakasana (fall-ack-AHS-anna), is an essential posture for a strong yoga practice. Holding plank pose will improve your endurance and muscle tone, help develop the strength needed for more complex poses, and generate heat and stimulating the navel chakra.

Philosophy + Origin

Hidden in the pose’s name is the Sanskrit word “phala,” which means to bear fruit or ripen. In yoga, the idea of tapas, often translated as “heat,” “passion,” or “discipline,” fuels the physical asana practice, encouraging students to seek out the challenge again and again in order to become stronger, to build an internal flame in the body that fuels every aspect of life. When you think of plank pose as an opportunity to “ripen” or “bear fruit,” you become aware of the transformative effect of this seemingly simple (although challenging) pose. Each time you enter the pose, use the breath to ripen the fruit of your labors. The ability to hold this pose with steadiness and grace is known to create major shifts in your practice and your life.

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