Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana): A challenging pose that opens your hips and frees your breath. This pose allows you to work with drawing the breath down into the body while strengthening your core and legs. Simpler in appearance much of the challenge in this pose is to keep your breath come and stick with it as sensation arrises. A great pose for prenatal yoga or anyone working to open tight hips and strengthen shoulders too.
Take your feet wide out to the side 3 feet apart , bend the elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms to face forward. Your feet should be turned 45 degrees out and as you bend your knees center them over the foot. As you open you will be able to drop your hips down more and more eventually hips as low as your knees. But take your time and work to build up to lower hips and longer holds. Start with holding for 5 breaths and build up to 10 breaths. Remember to keep the shoulders blades actively engaging on your back this support will keep your chest open and your breath full and deep.
Benefits: opens the hips and chest while strengthening and toning the lower body. It also helps you work to maintain a deep breath which is not easy to do when your Psoas and hips are challenged in this way. Goddess pose stimulates the respiratory, uro-genital and cardiovascular systems.