UTKATA KONĀSANA (उष्ट्रासन कोणासन)
‘Utkata’= powerful, fierce, or wild, ‘Kona’= angle, ‘āsana’= posture
Fierce Angle Pose
Victory Squat Pose
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Standing / Stretch
• Straight ahead – Eye level
• Straight ahead – Eye level
1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), with your legs hip distance apart, keeping your back straight, your shoulders and arms down, and your palms facing forward.
2. Extend your legs to the side, with your feet and your legs angled to out at 45 degrees. Root down through your feet to ground yourself.
3. Engage your core to keep your back and torso straight as you bend your knees into a squat. Lengthen your spine as you press your hips slightly forward, pull your tailbone down, and sit back into your hips. Work to get your thighs as parallel to the ground as possible while keeping your knees stacked over your ankles.
4. Bring your arms out to the side, like a ‘T’, at shoulder height. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees for cactus arms. You can have your palms flat, at an angle or straight forward, or in Guyan Mudra. Alternatively, the arms can be straight up in the air by the ears, with the palms straight, in Guyan Mudra, or in Prayer Mudra, or have the arms out to the side with the elbows bent at 45 degrees and hands in Guyan Mudra.
5. Continue to draw your belly into your spine and sink into your hips. Engage your core and thighs for balance as you continue to lengthen your spine through the crown of your head.
6. Pull your shoulders back and draw your shoulder blades together to keep your chest lifted and open.
7. Hold this pose for several breaths (about 20 seconds to build strength). Breathe deeply and make sure that your breath is smooth.
8. When ready, release back into Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
• Knees out past the ankles and/or toes
• Back rounded or hunched
• Hips thrust back behind the shoulders
• Neck strained
• Shoulders strained
• Shoulders not stacked over the hips
• Knees and toes not in the same direction / twisting the knee
• Torso leaning forward
• Feet turned in or too far out
• For students with difficulty balancing, are twisting their knees, or are pregnant, have them practice by a wall or with a chair for support. This is also good for students cleared to practice after a hip or knee replacement.
• Students with severe knee injury or inflammation can practice this pose sitting astride a chair.
• For students with shoulder injury or discomfort, have them place their hands in Prayer Mudra at heart Center or on their hips or thighs. They should not extend their arms above their head or out to the side.
• For advanced students, have them practice this pose while balancing on the balls of their feet. This will strengthen their calf muscles as well as test their balance.
• Forward Bend, Standing (Uttanasana)
• Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
• Neck • Shoulders (Deltoids)
• Chest (Pectoralis Major and Minor) • Biceps and Triceps
• Upper (Cervical) and Lower (Lumbar) Back and Spine • Abdomen (Core) and Obliques
• Hips (Psoas, Iliopsoas) • Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus (Glutes)
• Quadriceps and Hamstrings • Calf muscles
• Knees • Ankles
• Stretches and strengthens the hips and hip flexors, spine, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, inner thighs, hips, groin, chest, knees, calf muscles, shoulders, and ankles.
• Opens the hips, groin, chest, glutes, and knees.
• Helps women preparing for birth by strengthening the muscles, so they feel less pain during delivery and helps with reproductive health.
• Improves the Respiratory System and the Circulatory System by opening the chest and breathing through the diaphragm, which is therapeutic for students with asthma. It also improves digestion.
• Therapeutic for students with arthritis and sciatica.
• Stimulates the nervous system which calms the brain, reducing stress and anxiety as well as relieves mild depression, insomnia, and fatigue. This helps to boost energy as well as encourages confidence while bringing awareness to the breath. Stability and focus also improve.
• Improves posture and alignment.
1. Students with discomfort and/or injury to the legs, shoulders, hips, knee, or ankles should do this pose with caution. If practiced, practice with props, modifications, and/or guidance.
2. Students with a hip or knee replacement should only practice this pose once cleared to do so by a physician.
• Mula Bandha