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Saturday, 1 May 2010

Yoga Pose May

Today I'm featuring a yoga pose as part of Yoga Pose May hosted by Tina at Carrots 'n' Cake and Kate at What Kate Ate, I am doing warrior 1.

The following description is taken from my yoga online, original page here.

Benefits

  • strengthens the shoulders, arms, thighs, ankles and the muscles of the back
  • expands the chest, lungs and shoulders
  • stretches the hip flexors, abdomen, and ankles
  • develops stamina and endurance in thighs and core muscles
  • stimulates abdominal organs and digestion
  • improves balance, concentration, and core awareness

Cautions

  • heart problems
  • high blood pressure
  • medical conditions that affect balance
  • shoulder problems like tendonitis / bursitis-as the arms are raised, keep hands open and arms parallel to avoid compression into the shoulder joint
  • neck problems-maintain eyes forward and chin parallel to the ground

Steps

Virabhadrasana I (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)

Virabhadra = the name of the warrior who is an incarnation of Shiva

  1. Stand in Tadasana. With an exhalation, step your left foot back 3 1/2 to 4 feet. Align the left heel behind the right heel and then turn the left foot out 45 degrees keeping the right foot forward. Rotate the hips so both hip points are facing forward and parallel to the front of the mat. Gently root the outer edge of the left foot into mat as your hips and shoulders rotate forward
  2. Inhale and raise your arms perpendicular to the ground keeping arms open shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Reach through the fingertips as the palms face inwards. Draw the shoulders blades down encouraging the shoulders to move down and away from the neck. Feel as though the shoulder blades lightly hug into the back.
  3. As you exhale, contract the abdominal muscles and tilt the pelvis so the tailbone moves down and under. Slowly bend the right knee placing the knee over the heel. As you continue to breathe, feel the right heel anchoring allowing the toes to lighten and spread. Applying slightly more pressure in the right heel rather than the toes will keep the right knee more stable and will minimize force being placed into the knee joint. Continue to draw the tailbone under and towards the pubic bone and feed the bottom front ribs in keeping the abdomen from swaying outward. Picture the pubic bone lifting towards the navel. Keep strengthening the pose by pressing the outer left heel into the floor sending a lifting energy up the left leg into the pelvis and through to the arms
  4. Stay tall over the pelvis feeling the ribcage (especially the back edge) lift away from the pelvis. Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt the head back and look comfortably up at your thumbs
  5. Breathe slowly and stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To exit, exhale to lower the arms and place the hands onto the hips. Inhale as you press firmly into the right heel and step the left leg forward. Exhale to release the hands from the hips and adjust the feet and pelvis into Tadasana. Take a few breaths and then repeat with the other side for the same length of time.

Modifications

  • Beginners may find it difficult to keep the back heel grounded, therefore move the left foot a few inches to the left so the heels are staggered and not aligned.
  • If you have difficulty balancing or find the pose to deep, decrease the distance between your feet several inches; ensure that the right knee is still over the heel and not over the toes.
  • For deeper variation, move the left heel back a few more inches and bring the right thigh parallel with the floor; ensure that the right knee is still over the heel and not over the toes, and keep the tailbone reaching lightly under.
  • For more challenge, bring the palms together in prayer as the arms are raised; keep the shoulders from rising and continue to hug the shoulder blades into the back; lightly press the pinky region of the palms together moving more energy up the arms and creating a subtle external rotation of the arms.

Additional Reading:
Exploring Warrior 1


Here's my take on it, please excuse me looking a bit rough! I had already had a Sailor Jerrys when I got the email saying I was today and had a mega busy day at work! The place is kinda driving me nuts, and to top it off today I got told I wasn't getting the pay agreed in my interview, I'd be getting less.. wtf? I don't know if I'll stay I feel like I'm being taken for a ride since it's so hard to get a job at the moment... anyway... I won't go on about it again, I keep getting side tracked by it on the blog cause it's on my mind so much at the moment!

Even though I've only just started doing yoga this is one of my favourite poses so I was glad to be chosen to do it (also relieved I got given a pose I could do! I think Tina and Kate chose wisely as I said I was new to yoga!).




Other bloggers doing the Warrior 1 pose;
Dancing Through Life
All in the Family
Daily Nibbles
Duchess of Fork

Join in and give it a try, if I can do it, you can!

10 comments:

  1. I really love that pose, especially since I started running as I find it gives me a lovely stretch of the hips and legs x

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  2. i really really really want to love yoga. i really do. and when i see bloggers writing about it i get amped, like "heck yeah i'm going to do yoga" but alas it just isn't for me. youre looking good though in that pose!

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  3. I love warrior 1 :) Its hard but when you get it just right it feels great and makes me feel strong!

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  4. I'm on the verge of my first-ever attempt at yoga as part of my full-scale assault on my IT Band issues, so this post is just more fuel for the benefits of adding this to my routine. I consider my flexibility somewhere along the lines of a petrified redwood, or perhaps a fossilized T-Rex, so it should be amusing and enlightening.

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  5. Great job on the warrior pose :)

    Ugh about work...sort of does sound like they're taking advantage :(

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  6. nice job. okay... you're convincing me to do this as part of my routine this week. will do so;-)

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  7. I'm also a yoga newbie, thanks for including all of the info about this pose!

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  8. I love the Warrior poses! They dont call it Warrior for nothing :)

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  9. Wonderful post! Thanks for the extra info and for the great demonstration.

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