Monday, March 11, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Monday Morning Yoga Pose

Strong and Peaceful Warrior, Warrior II Pose

Characteristics of this pose include strength, poise, and a balance of ease and effort. Imagine yourself in the “shoes” of a warrior, affirming your confidence, grounding your feet into the earth, core muscles are strong and active, arms are active, with relaxed shoulders and muscles in your face.

Important: If you have an injury or condition for which you are seeing a physician, please check with your doctor to get consent to practice yoga. Honor your body and do what feels good. If a pose hurts, gently come back out.

Performing the Warrior II Pose:
Step your feet apart 3 ½-4 feet. Turn your right foot forward and keep your left or back foot parallel to your front facing foot. (Draw an imaginary line from your front heel to the inner arch of your back foot.) If your heel lines up, your feet are in good alignment. Guideline for keeping knees healthy in poses: line up knee alignment with the ankle, no twisting or “torquing” the knee joint. Lift the arms shoulder height and parallel to the floor, palms facing downwards toward the ground. Arms stay active in this posture, and moving away from the center line of your body.

On an inhale breath, feel the lungs expand, chest opens. On an exhale, sink into a bend into the front knee. Do not exceed a bend of more than a 90 degree angle in the front knee. Back leg stays strong and straight to hold a firm foundation and to stay balanced. Be careful to check that the front knee is aligned or stacked over the front ankle, you may need to adjust the placement of your knee for proper alignment.

Check that your shoulders are stacked over your hips and not leaning the torso forward.

Relax the shoulders away from the ears, bring awareness to the core, squeeze your abdominal muscles inward, focused gaze is over your front palm, facial muscles are relaxed, breathe and stay for 30 seconds or a full round of inhales/exhales 3-5 times. Hold the posture longer and sink into a deeper front knee bend to challenge yourself (not further than 90 degree angle,) building strength in the quadriceps (muscles located at the front of the thighs). 

To Come Out: Slowly begin to straighten the front leg and step the feet back together.

Feel the balance of ease and effort after doing this posture, in the body, mind, and spirit. Thank yourself for making the effort and affirming your strong, peaceful nature.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga
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