This week we began in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), taking several moments to work through the body in complete stillness from the soles of the feet to the top of the head. Standing still can be quite hard work!
Then we shook out any tension in the muscles, starting gently and moving through the body, before warming up with one of the Dru ‘activations’ to mobilise the joints. This was followed by some balance work, and then a sequence to stretch and open the front of the chest and shoulders.
There are three warrior poses in yoga, and we practised two of them in a flow linked with downward dog. You can also practise each warrior pose separately.
Warrior 1 is a lovely standing pose that works all of the body. It’s health benefits include:
- Strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles, and back
- Opens yours hips, chest, and lungs
- Improves focus, balance, and stability
- Encourages good circulation and respiration
- Stretches your arms, legs, shoulders, neck, belly, groins and ankles
- Energizes the entire body.
This short clip on the Yoga Journal websiteshows how to do it.
Spend some time in Tadasana (mountain pose), preparing for your standing poses starting with Warrior 1. First step your feet wide facing the long edge of your mat, about a metre apart. Have your hands on your hips.
Turn your left foot halfway to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Turn the body to face right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the short edge of your mat. Move your feet so you feel balanced and grounded. As the left hip turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.
Raise your arms up by your head, palms facing, and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling. Firm your shoulder blades against your back and draw them downwards.
With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Try not to lean forward.
Hold the pose, lifting strongly up through your arms, feeling the ribcage move away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms.
Stay for 30 seconds breathing deeply if you can, but come down any time you need to. To come out, first straighten the right knee. Turn the feet forward and bring the arms down as you turn back to the front of your mat. Keep the feet wide
Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same length on the other side. When you’re finished return to Tadasana. You can follow up with warrior 2, or a wide legged standing forward bend, before coming down to rest in child.
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