Heart of a Warrior

I remember clearly my very first yoga class.  It was right after New Years (yes I was a New Years Resolutioner) 7 years ago now. I was taking the class because I always wanted to actually go to a yoga class. I have been watching the videos for years and thought hey I can do this.  So I did.  It was a Wednesday afternoon and yes I remember that clearly too. 🙂 The gym I was going to had mirrors all along the front wall of the class so you could clearly see what you were doing and sometimes how goofy you looked. Ok maybe how goofy I looked. 😀  The teacher was the nicest person you ever want to meet.  I still talk to her and get together with her to this day.  She taught me everything I know and helped me become the yoga instructor I am today.  In this very first class, one of the poses we did was Warrior.  I remember looking in the mirrors and thinking that I could see how this pose was called Warrior.  I looked like one.  Of course I’m human and also thought how great it looked especially this being my first class!

Warrior I is the first in a series of 3.  All 3 warrior poses stem of this important pose.  You have to get your balance centered in order for this pose to work.  As with lunges, your body weight creates the flexion at the knee and hip of your front leg.  You also must maintain the extension of the back leg.  In my classes, I tell my students that your feet can be on railroad tracks with your back foot turned out a little bit.  Depending on the anatomy of my students, they can have a longer or shorter base.  The next biggest thing in warrior is to lift your heart up.  Warriors do not walk around slumped over.  They walk tall and lifted.

Todays Pose: Virabhadrasana I-Warrior I-Stand in Tadasana and bring your right foot back.  Your feet should be on railroads tracks (not lined up) with your right toes turned out a little bit.  Bend your left knee to a 90 degree angle.  Your left hip should be pressing back as your right hip should be pressing forward.  Make sure that duck butt is tucked down.  Lift the arms into the air and lift the heart up.  You can look up if your neck allows.  Make sure that low belly is tucked in and shoulders are down.  This pose you can hold a little longer if you would like.  I usually hold it 2-5 minutes.  Breathe nice deep belly breaths in the nose and out the nose.  After a few minutes, repeat with the opposite leg in front.

What this works: Gluteus maximus, sartorius, quadriceps, gracilis, semitendinosus, deltoid, pectoralis major, rectus abdominis, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and the psoas major

photo credit: Brittany

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