Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana), (oot-KAH-tuh cone-AHS-uh-nuh)
Utkata (powerful) + kona (angle) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Victory Squat
Channel your inner goddess and build leg strength in Goddess Pose.
Goddess Pose Fundamentals
Awaken your inner goddess, challenge your balance and build heat in Goddess Pose.
Both men and women have both a masculine and a feminine aspect within them, and this yoga asana aims to connect us with our feminine energy.
Goddess Pose is a variation of a squat, so expect a challenge for your legs. It simultaneously strengthens and stretches the lower body. The strengthening action allows you to build more stability for other standing positions.
The mighty Hindu goddess Kali is often depicted in this pose. She symbolizes the strength, fierceness, and power of the feminine side of the universe. Simultaneously, she is seen as the goddess of death and destruction, but also as the mother of all beings and the ultimate protector.The Sanskrit name Utkata Konasana also shows this symbology, as Utkata is translated into powerful.
The pose puts to the front the more fierce manifestation of the divine feminine. Try practicing with this intention, emulating the power of the goddess Kali, and you will see the impact Goddess Pose has on your confidence.
Since the pose provides a deep opening to the hips, you might also feel a release of emotions, as we tend to store them in this area. Try to observe the emotions, without judgment, and use your breath to release them.
Goddess pose Chakras
Energetically, this pose encourages the downward flow of energy, called apana, and activates the lower three chakras.
These are the Root, Sacral, and Solar Plexus chakras which govern our sense of identity, emotional and mental stability, and relationships with the outside world.
Activating these chakras will help you feel more powerful and confident within, more stable and secure, and will also boost your creative and sexual energy.
Goddess Pose Benefits
- Stretches and opens the hips, groin, chest, and inner thighs.
- Strengthens the quads, glutes, psoas muscles, knees, ankles, and hip joints. Having the arms in the cactus position will also strengthen the shoulders, upper back, and arms.
- Since there are many alignment cues to think about, this pose may ease overthinking and improve your focus and concentration.
- Encouraging you to open your hips, strengthen your lower body and elongate your spine, this pose may help you become aware of your posture which may lead to better postural habits even after the class.
- Increases blood flow to the pelvic floor, which may reduce pain in the hips and lower back and relieves menstrual cramps.
- Correct alignment, active engagement of the abs, and deep breathing will stimulate the vital organs, respiratory and urogenital systems, and calm the nervous system. These benefits are particularly present when the pose is held for longer.
How To Do Goddess Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Begin in a standing position with your legs opened wide. Your feet should be around 3 to 4 feet-distance apart.
2. Raise your arms to shoulder height and bend your elbows, so the hands are pointing towards the sky, in the cactus position, palms facing forward.
3. Open your feet out around 45 degrees, so they point towards the corners of your mat.
4. With an exhalation, bend your knees and squat down. Press your hips slightly forward and open the knees wide.
5. Drop your shoulders and open your chest. Keep your arms engaged and gaze to the front, keeping your chin parallel to the ground.
6. Hold the pose for around 3 to 5 breaths, or longer if you feel comfortable.
7. To release, straighten the legs, release the arms to your sides and return to Mountain Pose.
Tips And Tricks:
- One of the biggest challenges in this pose is achieving the proper alignment in the knees. Keep them in line with your toes to ensure they are not moving too much inwards or outwards. Having this in mind will also help you engage your thighs.
- If having your arms in Cactus Position is difficult, you can also keep your hands on your thighs or hips, or on your chest in the Prayer Position.
- Ideally, your thighs would be parallel to the ground, but if that’s too difficult, you can also raise up in a shallower squat.
- If you struggle with balance, practice against a wall, or hold the back of a chair for support.
- Remember to keep your spine long throughout the pose, and maintain a smooth and deep breath.
Goddess Pose Variations:
Goddess Pose Variation: Goddess Pose With A Side Stretch
Once you’ve reached Goddess Pose, you can also include a Side Stretch to both engage and release the side of your core.
To do so, simply extend one arm overhead and lean your torso to the opposite side. Try to still maintain length in your spine by opening your chest and gazing up. You can rest your other elbow on your thigh.
Hold the side bend for a couple of breaths, get back to the center, and repeat the side stretch on the other side.
Goddess Pose Variation: Revolved Goddess Pose
Spice up this asana by adding a twist for a variation called Revolved Goddess Pose. For this variation, tuck your tailbone and put your hands on your thighs, slightly above the knees.
Then turn your chest towards the right, allowing the left shoulder to drop between your hips, and raise the right shoulder. Hold for two to three breaths, move back to the center, and repeat the twist to the other side.
This variation will help further release tension in your upper body, and also engage your core more than the classic Goddess Pose.
Goddess Pose Variation: Goddess Pose On Toes
An easy way to challenge yourself in Goddess Pose is to come up on your toes. Before attempting this variation, make sure your knees and toes are aligned.
Then, raise to the balls of your feet, while keeping the thighs parallel to the ground and your knees directly over your toes. Hold for as long as you can. As a bonus challenge, try closing your eyes for a moment.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Knees moving inwards or outwards. Make sure to open the feet slightly to allow your knees to stay in line with the ankles. Adjusting the width of your stance may also help with that.
Arching the lower back. Tuck the pelvis slightly and engage your lower abs to ensure your lower back is straight and in line with the rest of the spine.
Avoid the pose if you have an injury in the hips, back, shoulders, legs, or knees.
Five Pointed Star Pose
Standing Figure Four Pose
Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose
Side Lunge Pose
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