Not a widely known or used pose in vinyasa flow or power yoga classes, however a commonly seen pose for practitioners of Kundalini Yoga. Goddess Pose is a great blend of strength, stretch, and mental toughness.
How To: Goddess
Start standing, separate your feet approximately distance of length of one of your legs. You can turn your feet out to a comfortable degree, usually 45 degrees is comfortable. Raise your arms out straight from your shoulders and bend them at your elbows to form a 90 degree angle. Have your palms facing forward and fingers energized and extended. Start to slowly bend your knees until they also reach a 90 degree angle and hold the pose. Be very careful as you bend your knees that they do not knock inward. Be sure that your knees always track directly over your toes, even if that means modifying the angle your feet. This is so important to build the correct strength in the legs and to protect the very vulnerable knee joint.
Benefits of Goddess Pose
The role of Goddess Pose is vast.
Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include:
- Opens the hips, legs, and chest
- Strengthens the legs, calves, abs, and knees
- Stimulates the uro-genital system and pelvic floor
- Strengthens and stretches the shoulder joint
For the lay person or the yogi, Goddess Pose does strengthens the legs and helps train you to get a sense and feeling for a strong back. This is a great place for a long hold and to add a long series of fire breathing technique. The longer you hold Goddess Pose will allow you to judge which joints are weak and tight.
For the athlete, of course all the preceding benefits would apply, but uniquely the advantage of an athlete doing this pose would help:
- Open groin
- Stretch hips
- Stretch elongate Achilles tendon
- Increase core strength
- Challenge their focus and mental toughness by holding for long periods of time
- Increase shoulder strength without building bulk
Although you should always consult your physician and research a properly trained teacher before starting a yoga practice, there a few instances where you should avoid this pose entirely, that being chronic knee problems or recent knee surgery.
Have fun exploring Goddess Pose and learning about your body.
Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instruction and her sport-specific Power Yoga for Sports training program www.poweryogaforsports.com. Gwen's unique combination of dance, massage and yoga training experience, coupled with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, nutrition and homeopathy, provide her clients, class participants and athletes with overwhelming benefits. Gwen is the yoga instructor for several New York Yankees baseball players, team yoga instructor for the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, and the Pace University baseball team; as well as many youth teams in a variety of sports. She is also the official spokesperson for AFRIN PureSea. Visit her website at www.poweryogaforsports.com