It is not always possible to get to the gym or go for a run. On the days where you need an extra boost of energy and focus you can practice Warrior I. Whether it be in your office or on your lunch break, Warrior I will give you the lift you need to carry on with the day. Channel the fierceness of your inner warrior as you balance and breathe in this posture, ground down through the legs, lift through the torso and open in the chest. Remember to practice both sides for optimal benefits. Give yourself 5 minutes to focus on your breath and body and you’ll reap the benefits for the rest of the day.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasna I)
Begin standing in Tadasana (feet hip distance apart). Step the left foot back about 3 1/2 – 4 feet from the right. Align the heel of the front foot with the heel of the back and turn the foot in about 45 degrees. You should feel the outer edge of the back (left) foot. Square both hips to the front, exhale and bend the front knee. The center of the knee should be in alignment over the ankle, if needed, you can walk the left leg back to make sure the knee stays in a safe position. The shin is perpendicular to the floor, and if possible, the thigh is parallel to the floor creating a 90 degree angle at the knee. Raise your arms above the head, perpendicular to the ground, parallel to each other, palms facing inward. Continue to actively stretch through the arms, keep the shoulder blades wide and down away from the ears. Firm down between the legs, rotating the front (right) thigh outward and pressing down through the back leg and foot. Keep the ribcage lifted away from the thigh and the sides of the torso engaged by pressing the navel toward the spine. Continue to breathe. Keep your focus forward, or if there is no strain in the neck you can look up at the hands. Remain in this pose for 5 – 10 deep breaths. To release this pose, inhale, straighten the front leg and switch sides.
Warrior I is a great pose for strengthening the legs and ankles as well as stretches the legs, ankles, groin, chest and shoulders. It helps to increase stamina and relieve back aches.
If you experience neck pain do not turn your head, instead continue to look forward and lengthen both sides of the neck evenly. If you have trouble supporting yourself in this pose, you can bring a chair under the bent leg.
**As with any exercise regime, listen to your body and its limitations. Do not perform any movements you know or think will be harmful. Be conscious and aware. This is designed to help, not harm.