Practicing yoga presents a unique opportunity to garner inner and outer strength, courage, and willpower through powerful poses and mindfulness. As we practice yoga, we can call upon that goddess attitude within us to help sustain the posture and provide a sweet feeling on the inside. Here are a few postures that can truly evoke the grace of your own inner goddess or warrior.
1. Goddess Pose
This is a wide-legged squat that ideally has the legs at 90-degree angles. The hips remain at the height of the knees, not dropping lower, with the external rotation of the legs working to hold the torso in place. Full of strength from the leg muscles and lower abdominals, imagine that your body is beautifully rising up and out of the power of the legs.
Tip: Make sure that the knees are in alignment with the middle toes, not rolling inward towards the big toe.
2. Wild Thing
This posture is such a full expression of expansion and joy. From Side Plank Pose (Vasisthasana), let the top foot come behind you onto the floor. Bend that knee, making a right angle, and lift the heel so that you press firmly into the floor with the ball of your foot, just like a high heel.
Then lift the hips high and turn the top arm so that the armpit is facing your ear, arm extended past the crown of the head. Imagine the wind sweeping through a flowing gown as you gracefully expand from the inside out.
Tip: Keep the straight leg firm, acting as if it’s still in Side Plank. You can keep this as a side body stretch or open the chest to the ceiling for a backbend. The bent leg does most of the work and the supporting arm is secondary in effort.
3. Dancer Pose
While Nataraj, the deity honored in this pose, is male, the pose does bring out the feminine quality through the beauty of balance and expansion. The standing leg is powerful to hold the backbend and the ease and effort is expressed through the lifting of the chest. Imagine that you are dancing to celebrate life in all its forms, lifting your heart to the heavens. Learn more about Dancer Pose here.
Tip: Press the back foot strongly into the hand as you pull the hand against the foot. This opposition of actions removes compression from the lower back and allows the backbend to rise into the upper chest and heart.
4. Mermaid Pose
Image credit: Dina Ivas
This variation turns the upper body to the side and has the arms clasped behind the head, back foot resting in the inner elbow of the lower arm, head resting upon the upper arm. There is a backbend, a lateral stretch and a curve to the side, flirting with life’s possibilities. Imagine that you are a curvy, delicious being as your hips face forward and the upper body turns to one side.
Tip: Establish a scissoring action of drawing the front leg towards the wall behind you as you draw the back leg towards the front. This opposition of actions will support the lower back and allow the grace to rise up the spine and open the heart.
You don’t have to have an amazing yoga practice nor a toned body to feel like a goddess. Goddesses make things happen and they know how to remain still through a storm. Once you tap into these feelings from the poses, keep them with you as you strut your fabulousness off the mat and into your life.
Image credit: Alissa