This week we practised a Hands-Free Warrior sequence developed by yoga teacher and writer Leslie Kaminoff. Author of the best selling guide Yoga Anatomy, he is a strong advocate of use of the breath, and a good knowledge of anatomy in yoga. Kaminoff works in the tradition of Indian teacher T.K.V. Desikachar, now in his 70s.
The hands-free sequence incorporates several postures including the three warriors and trikonasana in a free and flowing sequence, working in each to a count of three breaths. The aim is to work the legs strongly, without taking any weight into the upper body and wrists.
You can watch it online on the Yoga Journal website
It’s important to understand how Kaminoff emphasises the movement of the spine with the breath. The technique takes some mastering and moves between inhaling and backbending, and exhaling and forward bending. The arms and shoulders rotate to aid this flow.
The stance is also unusual, with the feet closer together than we expect for standing asanas, so that we can step in and out of postures more easily.
If you decide to practise at home, make sure you are well warmed up first, especially around the neck and shoulders, and along the spine. Afterwards, you may wish to come down to the floor for some more static and deeply held seated postures.
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