Sunday, 13 September 2015

Warrior 3 for the wobbly

Warrior 3 is a great pose for strengthening your legs and core, and building focus and concentration. But if your ankles or knees are not strong or if your hamstrings or quads are tight or your balance not good, you may need a little help.  

A good way to start is with a chair. Stand a little way from the chair, with the seat of the chair facing you. Take a step forward with your right foot and place your hands on the chair. Your gaze should be down at the chair seat so that the back of the neck is long. Take a breath in and lift your left leg, flexing the left foot. Work towards straightening your standing leg and leveling your hips. Repeat second side.

Now you can try Warrior 3 at the wall. Start with your fingertips on the wall at navel height. Breathe out and walk your feet back, bringing your head between your hands, and straightening your arms. Level your hips, breathe in and raise your right leg as far as your hamstrings will allow. To come out, breathe out, lower the right leg, breathe in, walk the feet back to the wall and come up. As a counter pose, interlace your fingers behind your back, inhale an lift your chest and arms. Repeat second side. 

Another way of using the wall is to stand your leg length away from the wall. Bring your hands to two blocks or books, inhale and lift your right foot to the wall. If you feel balanced then raise your arms. To come out, lower your hands to the blocks, bend your front knee slightly, then lower your back leg bringing your feet together. Repeat second side.

Eventually, you may want to try Warrior 3 away from the wall, using the blocks as above. 
Finally try the full pose. Find a drishti, a gaze point down on the floor to help you balance. As your hamstrings release more you will eventually reach a T position. My hamstrings are tight from power walking so this a pose I need to work on!

Here are some tips to avoid falling out of the pose.

  • Do not bring your torso too far forward. Move into the pose slowly and with awareness to become aware of your centre of gravity.
  • Make the standing leg strong by lifting the knee cap and engaging the quadricep muscle.
  • Try the variation with the arms back initially or arms out to the sides which will keep your weight more centred.
  • Engage your core.

Janet x 

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