Bound Warrior Pose or Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) Surrender into Humble Warrior while accessing the qualities of strength, humility, and balance. The benefits include strengthening the legs, while opening through the hips, shoulders and chest. Find a balance of ease and effort in this challenging pose.
To do Humble Warrior Pose, first move into Warrior 1 or Virabhadrasana 1. Stand with the feet 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Arms to the sides. Turn your left foot to a 45 degree angle facing forward and turn your right foot facing straight forward. Align the heels in one straight lined (more intense) or walk the right foot out further towards the right in order to widen your stance to be more like “train tracks” rather than on a tightrope.”(You may experience more balance and success, if beginner or you feel tight).
On an inhale, raise the arms over the head, fingertips and palms facing each other. Exhale and begin to bend the front knee up to a 90 degree angle. (Make sure that the front knee is aligned over the ankle). Press into the knife-edge of the left foot a lot (outer left-side of foot) to create a “squaring-off” action with the hips towards the front. Nudge the left hip forward and draw the right hip back. Straighten more through the arms to create “clean lines” of energy through the arms.
Inhale to lift the chest, and exhale to draw the low-belly in and make sure that the chest is not protruding out. Sink a little lower in the front knee bend and breathe, relax the shoulders away from the ears.
To do Baddha Virabhadrasana, Bound Warrior, take an inhale breath and lengthen the palms of the hands towards the ceiling. On an exhale, bind the palms behind the back or grab a strap. Stay here and breathe for 2-3 rounds of breath (one inhale and one exhale counts as one round of breath). Broaden and lift through the chest, while reaching the fingers down towards the back heel. Trust yourself, and notice it can be challenging to surrender into this preparatory part of the pose, a “balancing backbend.”
Keep the back leg strong and bend a little deeper in the front knee. Be careful to not bend the front knee past a 90 degree angle. Take an inhale breath to prepare, and on an exhale, fold forward, hinging at the hips. Allow the torso to rest on the front thigh or bring the torso to the inside of the front knee. If the hips and shoulders are tight, rest the torso on the thigh. In either variation, guide the right hip back and the left hip forward to level off the hips. Allow the palms to fall overhead if accessible, in order to allow more opening in the shoulders and chest. Sink a little lower in the front knee bend and completely relax the head and neck. Stay here and breathe, long and smooth inhales and exhales, for 3-5 full-rounds of breath.
To come out of the pose, ground through both feet and activate the core while rising back to standing. Release the bind in the hands and repeat the action on the opposite side.
In the language of yoga, or sanskrit, sthira and sukham asanam translates to, “the posture is ready and comfortable.” We can achieve this state in challenging poses while utilizing a steady breath and being mindful and completely present in the pose.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga
Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mounts streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. We have also added a new Meditation class on Wed. evenings, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.