Yesterday, we highlighted the Crow, a balancing pose that trains your concentration and improves the strength of your upper body. Our third featured pose this week is inspired by the ancient story of the Hindu Lord Shiva – the Virabhadrasana aka the (non-violent!) Warrior, or in the case of this post – Warrior 1.
The Warrior 1 Pose
Depending on your experience, you can sweep into the Warrior from the Samasthiti pose – upright with your feet together and your arms alongside your body, while keeping your shoulders back and your chest broad.
We prefer launching from the downward-facing dog – once in the dog, inhale to start and exhale to step your right foot forward between your hands, next to your right hand, aligning your knee with your foot. Slightly rotate your left foot outwards. Inhaling as you lift your torso upright, look straight ahead; sweep your arms out to the sides and up, making sure that your shoulders are relaxed. Press your hands together and point a finger towards the sky if you wish – it increases focus and connects you physically and mentally to the root of the earth and the sky.
Why Warrior 1 Is Good For You
Theenergizing Warrior is good for your hips, groin and ankles. It is a pose that stretches the sides of the body and opens and releases the Heart Chakra (Anahata), improving core body strength, balance and concentration.
With your back lengthened and your chest opened as your arms are held up towards the sky, you give more room to your lungs to expand and your heart to pump blood throughout your body. This also gives more room for blood to circulate freely in and around your abdominal organs whilst you engage your core muscles.
If held for longer, the pose also works on your legs, strengthening the upper and lower thigh muscles and soothes the hamstrings as you stretch and hold the weight of your torso in balance. Your back, shoulders and arms are also given focus, improving allover strength and stamina, a great way to relieve backaches and injuries to the hips, back or shoulders – but ensure you engage that core to support your lower back.
However, do listen to your body as this pose may do more harm to your body than good if not performed with caution. If you have high blood pressure, heart or neck problems, be careful – this pose gets the heart pumping strong and you could strain your neck if overstretched. For beginners, we suggest getting used to balancing first by leaning forward against a wall or a chair, focusing on an object in front of you or by raising your arms to the sides first.
Tomorrow, we take our non-violent battle to the desert, where the Camel awaits to test your arching skills!