It’s about that time of the year when we are feeling that cabin fever really start to take its toll on our minds and bodies and energy levels, as winter lingers on and we are feeling antsy for spring to finally get here.
A really great pose to start your day with and to do throughout the day and even at night when you get home from the hustle and bustle of workday is Warrior I Pose.
Warrior I Pose has several benefits, including opening the heart, increasing balance, focus and mindfulness. This pose opens the chest, lungs, strengthens the shoulders (as you raise them up), arms and thighs, ankles and the back muscles. This pose also helps to stretch the psoas muscle, the hip flexors and abdomen. It’s a very warming pose, bringing fire to the belly, increasing stamina and endurance in the lower body and core, and getting the blood flow going.
It’s also a great pose to do to stimulate digestion and bring energy to the abdominal organs. You will definitely feel a little flushed and energized after doing this pose, but also relaxed and focused.
On a mental note, Warrior I also helps with confidence building, empowerment and inner-strength.
Cautions: High blood pressure (as this activates the cardiovascular system), any conditions that affect balance, shoulder issues or neck sensitivities or prior injuries.
Modifications include keeping the feet hip width distance apart vs. in one line, bringing the feet slightly closer together to lessen the depth of the pose; and folding arms in front of the chest if should issues.
How to get into Warrior I:
- Stand in Mountain Pose, feet planted on the ground and take a deep inhale as you step your right foot forward into a lung, allowing the back foot to pivot slightly to the left about 15-45 degrees.
- As you lung forward or after you are stable in your lunge, you can gently raise your arms straight forward and up above the head, making sure the shoulders are still locked into their joints.
- Your back leg should be straight and the front knee should be right over the ankle (you also want to make sure you can see your big toe when you glance down).
- Keep your chin parallel to the floor, looking straight forward if that feels good and find one point of focus to keep your concentration on as you bring deeming into the lungs and feel the fire bring created in the body.
- To depend the pose, you may also look up toward the sky, creating a bit more of a back bend (if you do not have any neck sensitivities).
- When you are ready, inhale and step the right leg either back to meet the left or bring the left leg forward to meet the right and repeat steps 1-5 on the other leg, returning back to Mountain Pose when finished and closing the eyes, breathing and feeling the effects of the pose.