• the traveling yogi

Warrior 1 - Yoga Pose Tutorial

I would like to say a little something about yoga poses in general before I discuss the warrior I pose. I have been practicing yoga for about 20 years now and in that 20 year period, I have practiced many different styles of yoga and with many different teachers. What I can say for sure is that one size does not fit all when it comes to yoga poses. Different styles of yoga have their own alignment of each pose and they differ from one another. In addition to that, all bodies are different and the poses sit and feel different among each practitioner - adjustments may need to be made while in a yoga pose. When I was new to yoga, I found this to be very confusing and frustrating. But alas, if you are new to yoga, I have some advice that may help you ease into the poses with more confidence, comfort, and joy.

First, be aware of injuries and other physical limitations that you may have and act accordingly. If the description of a pose makes you cringe before you try it there may be a reason. In my own practice, I am not very flexible when it comes to back bending poses so I proceed with caution. My back and my body thank me.

Second, there is no reason to muscle through yoga. Just because it looks good in a magazine doesn't mean that you have to do it. There are two Sanskrit words that come to mind - Sthira and Sukha. Sthira translates as strong, steady, and stable. Sukha means comfortable, happy, and relaxed. An instruction that I often give when I teach yoga is to recognize and feel the strength in the pose and then try to soften and relax around it. The more you practice, the easier this becomes. Long story short, if you are straining and cannot relax and soften in the pose - you probably need to ease up and/or make some adjustments.

My third and final piece of advice is to try to be patient with the process of learning. On your yoga journey, you will probably be introduced to a variety of different ways to do things. Try them with an open mind and see how it feels in your body. Try to create a feeling of strength and comfort in each pose. Make it your own. So, without further ado, let me speak a little about the Warrior I pose, and then there is an instructional video that I have included.

The word warrior seems to bring up images of violence and battle. So why call a yoga pose warrior? I like this explanation described in an article by the yoga journal: "What's really being commemorated in this pose's name and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is the "spiritual warrior", who bravely does battle with the universal enemy, self-ignorance (avidya), the ultimate source of all our suffering." Warrior 1 is one of three warrior poses in yoga. It helps to strengthen the legs, open the hips and chest as well as stretches the arms and legs. It develops concentration, balance, and groundedness. My personal experience with this pose is that it wakes me up. I feel alive and present. Play the video below and try it for yourself. I hope that you enjoy the warrior 1 pose and the additional "variations" that I have included.