Welcome back to Yoga Yourself! I’m sure that everyone is as excited for THON this weekend as I am. Being that there is no sitting, we are going to be doing A LOT of standing in the days to come. With this in mind, everyone is going to want to strengthen their legs and give them a good stretch. So, I am going to continue our lesson on the warrior poses.
The next one up is Warrior II. This one is basically just a more difficult deviation from Warrior I, so hopefully you practiced this one a little bit over the past week. Warrior II, similarly to Warrior I, stretches the legs and it can help with lower back pain. Let’s get into it!
Warrior I steps…
- Just as in Warrior I, start by standing at the center of your mat. Remember, take the time now to focus on your breathing, especially have and equal count for both your exhale and inhale.
- Next, turn to one side (left or right) and step your feet as far apart from each other as you can. While doing this, turn your front foot perpendicular (90 degrees) to your front foot. Your back foot will most likely feel more comfortable being shifted in (probably at a 45 degree angel).
- Then, raise your arms horizontally outward and gaze toward the hand that is in front of your face while shifting forward on your front leg (making sure to keep the knee above or behind the ankle, bad things happen if you don’t do this). Here you should start to feel the stretch in legs and possibly the lower back.
- Repeat this to the opposite side, holding each for about 5 breaths.
A quick note: unlike in Warrior I, your hips are not facing toward the front of the room, they are straight with your legs.
Also, if you are having difficulty doing this posture, you can opt to shorten the stance that you so your legs are closer together.
Moving on, Warrior III is much more difficult in the rankings. Just a warning, it’s going to take an extreme amount of balance and some core strength never hurt. This posture will stretch you legs the most.
Warrior III Steps…
- Just as in the other warrior postures, Warrior III beings in the front of your mat. Again, take the time to focus on your breathing. This will be especially important for this posture because of the amount of balance that it requires.
- Next, shift your weight onto one leg and feel yourself become rooted in the ground through this foot.
- Following that, raise your other foot and extend it behind your body. As you do this, raise your arms and lower your torso onto a horizontal (as straight as you can) plane. At this point your leg, upper body and arms should be a straight line.
- Hold this pose for about 5 breaths (or as long as you can) and then repeat this for the other leg.
Trust me when I say that this is a difficult pose so it’s perfectly ok if you don’t get it at first. The key is practice. You may also try having your arms at your side rather than extended out in front of you if this helps. Also, to help with the balance try to engage your core and fix your gaze on a specific spot on the ground that is not moving.
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