Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Finding Balance in Flight - Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III)

Like any yoga teacher, adjusting themes for classes, and introducing a yoga flow that establishes a reoccurring theme is a common goal. It keeps the classes new, fresh and fun. It also allows students to challenge there bodies in new ways.

Today in both my morning Yoga class at Bamboo and my private sessions, students worked on finding balance with Warrior Three. The entire flow was built around this pose to encourage students to focus, breathe, and find balance. In this pose, the core is engaged the toes are relaxed, and the gaze is fixed. Personally, I have noticed that all students find balance best when they have established a focus point (dristi) before actually lifting into the balance pose.

*dristi - something to stare/gaze/focus on

To do this pose:
  1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) Inhale
  2. Exhale - step the left foot back into a high lunge, with the right knee bent around 90 degrees.
  3. Find a focus point (dristi) on the floor in front of you.
  4. Send the arms forward, parallel to the floor.
  5. Simultaneously press the heel of the right foot into the floor, as you energize and lift the left leg behind you.
  6. Keep hips parallel to the floor & breathe.
  7. Release into a forward fold and repeat on the other side.
For more advanced students the flow can be:
  1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Inhale and reach the arms up
  2. Find a dristi
  3. Press into the right foot, send the arms forward and left leg back
This pose can be incorporated with a Warrior Sequence. Warrior 3 increases stamina, and strengthens ankles. It also helps to find a sense of grounding and balance, especially for those in a chaotic daily schedule. Like any balance posture, it may be challenging for people with flat feet or weak arches, so focus on lifting the arch of the foot on the floor.
Enjoy your Yoga Practice!
~ Peace & Hugs, Ambria

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