April yogalicious pose of the month…

Not that you noticed readers, but I was a bad girl and missed the March yogalicious pose of the month post.  March was a crazy month for me, which included year end at the office, so let’s just say I was a bit preoccupied.  Not the best excuse, but hey, life happens to us sometimes and we have to prioritize.  That’s what adults do, right?

Missing the post was was not the worst thing, because my recent venture to a new yoga class and studio helped me realize which pose I should write about next.  In the post I mentioned the teacher had the class do Goddess Pose, which I haven’t done in ages.  This fun challenge caused me to want to look further into the pose and share the details with you!

Goddess Pose, picture from http://www.fitsugar.com/

Goddess Pose – Utkata Konasana

Cautions for the pose:

  • if you have knee or groin strain/injury, hip issues, or leg injury/chronic pain
  • if you are experiencing lower back pain
  • shoulder strain or injury (modification: place hands on thighs or hold them in Namaste hands position)
  • if you have another condition or injury that you are worried about, definitely check with your local yoga teacher to see if you should proceed

From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), step your feet out length-wise along your mat wide apart.  Turn your feet out about 45 degrees, so that they are pointing towards the corners of your mat.  With your hands on your hips, slowly begin to squat down as you exhale.  Be sure to keep your knees over your toes as you slowly progress to having the thighs parallel with the floor (do not force this if you’re not there yet – just go as deep as is good for you).

Now extend your arms out to the sides about shoulder height, reaching strongly while keeping your shoulders relaxed and down.    Start to bring your arms up toward the ceiling, bending at the elbows.  Your palms should now be facing the front of your mat with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.  Hold the pose for 5 – 10 breaths, working your way up to holding the pose a little longer each time.  Keep your shoulders relaxed and tailbone tucked – don’t stuck your butt out or over-arch the spine.  At the same time, feel the power and energy of this pose – feel the strength of the goddess in you as you draw energy up through your feet to your fingertips!

To come out of the pose, slowly lower your arms down and put your hands on your hips.  Follow this by gradually, and strongly, lifting up from the squat and straightening your legs. Step your feet back together and end in Mountain Pose.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the legs/thighs and shoulders
  • Tones the buttocks and calves
  • Opening in the chest and hips
  • Stimulates respiratory and cardiovascular systems
  • Improves balance and focus

Benefits I experience in or after this pose:

  • Strengthening in the thighs, very strong to hold the pose
  • Opening of the chest and intense in the hips
  • Improvements in balance
  • Feelings of strength and power throughout the body while holding the pose
  • Concentration while I am in the pose (usually to ignore the feeling in my quads!)

Since everyone’s situation is different, you may experience different benefits from this pose but I would hope that it at least makes you feel strong and powerful – yogalicious – like you can take on anything!  It’s very important to listen to your body while you are doing any yoga pose, do not push yourself needlessly and work slowly to progress in the postures.  Always ask your local yoga teacher if you have any specific questions regarding injuries and the poses.  ॐ

Note: After writing this post, but before publishing, I went to another flow based class where Goddess Pose was done again. Twice in one week for me after not doing the pose for about 2 years? Amazing. 

Have you tried this pose before in your practice?  Did you find it challenging?

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