The three Warrior poses are foundational in Yoga flow. They usually come in the beginning of the class; as part of sun salutations, as a warm up, or throughout the Vinyasa flow.
They are foundational because they work on strengthening, flexing AND balance, so it is a full body experience.
The warrior represent a “war” inside us. We usually fight against our ego and ignorance (as it’s called in yoga world). Warrior poses are challenging and they bring us focus, strength, clarity, confidence and courage.
They attribute to our posture and walking.
I integrate the warriors in the early warm up because they work on all body parts.
Let’s break them down with alignment cues that are important and beneficial.
Stand in mountain pose at the short edge of the mat. Bring one leg back straight, toes slightly toward the wide edge of the mat, heel completely on the ground.
Bend the knee of the front leg, knee above ankle. Make sure you see your toes (the knee doesn’t hide them).
Your pelvis is directed to the front, this is important. Notice that your back leg doesn’t pull open your hip bone and both of your hip bones are directed to the front.
Focus on your legs, ground both feet to the ground firmly, feel your legs working and getting strong.
Shift weight between your legs and find the balance point. Then move your awareness to your torso.
Starting with your lower back, note that you have your natural curve there but not exaggerated to front or down. It should rest in its natural position.
Lengthen your lower back and pull energy up from the root to the crown of your spine.
Imagine a rod or a stem of a flower, it could also be a string, whatever you feel more connected to.
This rod is metaphorically growing from the ground and aligning your torso to be straight.
Our spine has natural curves but when we think about keeping the back straight we want to keep the curves and align from within, our internal, with this imaginary rod that can help.
With the breath, after aligning your torso to be up and straight, continue the movement with arms raised up, shoulders in natural position not too much up and not too much away from ears. We want to keep natural inclinations.
The energy in this pose, while you stay in it with gaze (Drishti) directed forward, is pulling you in two directions: the pelvis down to earth, the crown of the head and the arms up to the sky.
Think about these two pulling powers and be balanced in between them.
This is the beauty of this posture (all three of them).
We will learn about the next 2 warriors in the following posts.
Try this at home :)