How To Series: Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1) Pose
[youtube width=”640″ height=”410″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6f1YCoNOlw[/youtube]
There’s an ancient Hindu myth I love about Virabhadrasana, the warrior who barreled up through the floor of the castle to rescue his princess. I always think of this story when I am struggling in my Warrior 1 pose which is named after the great warrior. Warrior 1 becomes more and more challenging for me, the longer I practice. I find so many subtle adjustments every time I hold the posture.
It’s so important to engage the lower abdominals, lengthen the tailbone under and lift up out of the lower back in Warrior 1. The goal is to find the backbend occurring in the upper thoracic spine while maintaining a firm stance in the lower body. Virabhadrasana had to anchor his back foot down for a firm hold, in order to gather the energy up from his roots; and siphon it up through his arms so he could pierce through the obstacle above him.
When you practice this pose, envision your inner warrior. Engage your legs, press firmly through both feet, lunge deeply in to your front leg while steadying yourself with the back leg. Try and spin your hips forward to move towards your goals and visions; but not at the expense of your back knee. Balance the muscular energy in your lower body with the effortless ease of the backbend and heart opener in the upper body.
Most of the obstacles in our life are self-created. We can break through any imaginary ceilings above us that we think are holding us back from achieving our goals and realizing our true potential. Make Warrior 1 a daily part of your practice to build more confidence and inner and outer strength.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!