Utkata Konasana: June Yoga Pose of the Month


Opens chest, inner thighs while strengthening back, core and thighs.

Goddess Pose (Sanskrit: Utkata Konasana)

  • Begin in Mountain at the front of your mat. Step your left foot back as if you were moving into High Lunge. Turn your entire body to the left turning toes out to corners of mat. You are now positioned to the long side of your mat. Feet are at a 45 degree angle (heels in and toes out) and legs lengthened. (There are other ways to approach and you don't have to use a mat - get creative!).

  • Place hands on hips creases and have spine tall. Take a deep breath in. On the exhale, bend knees so that they are positioned over ankles and not dropping in. Make sure you’re engaging inner thighs. If legs aren’t positioned at 90 degrees, that’s fine. You just need to make sure that your knees are properly lined up so that if legs were at 90 degrees, they would be over ankles.
  • Anchor all four corners of your feet into mat. Engage your belly in towards spine with tailbone reaching down preventing an unnatural sway in the lower back. Crown of the head is reaching tall.
  • Bring your arms up towards sky in a wide V-shape with palms facing forward. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree bend so that fingers are pointing up and fingers apart and active and wrists straight.
  • Note: You may bring movement into this pose by lengthening legs and arms at the same time as you inhale (Star Pose) and on the exhale, move into Goddess.

Namaste – The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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