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 core. This pose helps each of us connect to our inherent inner goddess, finding a common space with this powerful feminine energy.
As you practice utkata konasana, be conscious of the goddess 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.
- Utkata: powerful or fierce
- Kona: angle
- Asana: pose
This pose stretches the inner thigh, groin and hip areas. Go slowly and don’t push your body beyond its limits.
- Stretches your hips, groin and chest
- Tones and strengthens the core muscles
- Strengthens the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles
- Restores the shoulders, arms and upper back
- Heats the body and increases circulation
- Energetically prepares the body for childbirth by creating more room in the pelvis
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.
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
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.
- Mountain Pose
Contraindications and Cautions:
Although this is a mild, restorative posture, it is still recommended that caution be used if you have sustained a recent or chronic injury to the hips, legs or shoulders.
- For shoulder injuries, place your hands together at heart center.
- Start in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Step your right foot a stride length towards the back of your mat. Turn your toes out and your heels in, so your feet land on a 45 degree angle.
- Bend your knees deeply out the sides and sink your hips down to the height of your knees.
- Bring your arms out at shoulder height and bend your elbows so that your fingertips point skyward. Spread your fingertips wide apart from one another and activate the muscles across your back to hold your arms here.
- Engage your core muscles and draw your tailbone in the direction of the floor. Do not hunch forward with your shoulders; keep your spine long and your muscles engaged.
- Stay here for 30 seconds to one minute, then step forward to Mountain Pose.