Warrior pose for inner and outer strength

Shake off the winter blues with a little Yoga

The way of the warrior or virabhadrasana I in sanskit

Tap into your warrior self, your inner sun, your determination and willpower. In a gentle way we can be strong. Warrior I is named after a mythological Hindu warrior, virabhadra, an incarnation of the god Shiva. Virabhadra  was fierce and powerful with a thousand arms and hair and eyes of fire. Warrior I can be a powerful way to build concentration, balance and focus. It creates strength in all areas of life - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Practicing this pose regularly will help you to face the challenges of daily life with equanimity and poise.

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Benefits of Warrior I Pose

This pose builds up inner and outer strength and confidence.

The whole front side of the body while strengthening the arms and legs in particular the thighs and calves. This pose stretches the chest and lungs, improving breathing capacity and invigorating the body.  It also encourages greater flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the feet and ankles. Warrior 1 also increases circulation.

Technique

1.Step your feet about 3.5-4 feet apart. Breathe deeply and evenly, calming your mind and draw your awareness inward.

2Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, so your toes are pointing to the top of your mat.

3.Pivot your left foot inwards at a 45-degree angle.

4.Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Align your hips towards the top of your mat.

5.Ease your weight through your left heel. Exhaling bend your right knee over your right ankle. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting down through your ankles.

6.Extend your arms over your head, stretching towards the sky. Broaden across your belly, lengthen the sides of your waist and lift through your chest.

7.Draw your shoulders away from your ears.

8. Build up to holding for one minute.

9.To release the pose, press your weight through your back heel and straighten your front leg. Lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.

Contraindications

Do not practice the full version of the pose if you are experiencing high blood pressure or heart problems. Those with neck injuries should keep their heads in a neutral position, don’t look up at the hands. If you have a shoulder injury you should keep their raised arms parallel to each other or even wider. Always work within your own range of limitations, listening to your body. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.


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