Certified yoga instructor BANU MALEK shares her tips every Friday exclusively for GDN readers.
Virabhadrasana 1 - Warrior 1
Duration: Warrior 1 is one of the most basic signature poses. It can be practised from one minute to three minutes on each side everyday. Every yoga style that is practised has warriors as one of the main standing sequence poses with many different variations.
Virabhadrasana Pose is also known as the Warrior Pose; there are three variations of the Warrior pose, of which this is customarily numbered 1. It may seem strange to name a yoga pose after a warrior - after all, aren't yogis known for their non-violent ways?
What's really being commemorated in this pose's name, and held up as an ideal for all practitioners, is that of the "spiritual warrior" who bravely battles with the universal enemy, self-ignorance, which is the ultimate source of all our suffering. Follow the following steps to perfect the pose:
1. From High Lunge pose with the left knee bent, engage the legs to ground down through the feet and inhale the hands up to the bent knee. Use the arms to draw the torso back slightly. Make sure the right knee is directly over the right ankle.
2. Bring the hands to the hips and square the hips and the shoulders to the front wall. Relax the shoulders down and draw the shoulder blades towards the spine to open the chest.
3. Inhale the arms over the head in a H position with the palms facing each other, or bring the palms together crossing the thumbs, or interlace the fingers together and point the index finger up. Keep the shoulders relaxed and the chest lifted.
4. To go deeper, bring the palms together and carefully arch back and look up towards the ceiling.
5. Inhale deeply into the belly and chest, exhale, press into the feet, fingers and crown, feeling your body expanding out in five directions.
6. Keep breathing and hold for three to six breaths.
7. To release, exhale and lower the hands down to the floor.
The Warrior 1 pose has many benefits, including strengthening the legs, stretching the arms and legs, and developing concentration. This pose also improves circulation and respiration and energises the entire body. It can be a powerful way to create strength in all areas of life - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Practising this pose regularly will help you face the challenges of daily life with equanimity and poise.
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