Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 4 of 30 Day Yoga Challenge -- the Warrior Poses

How are you all doing with your practice?   What kinds of problems are you facing?   It's during your practice that you'll start to see more clearly where your difficulties lie, and it's during your practice that, after some reflection (or asking questions, or reading about the poses) that you'll start to figure out how to move through these difficulties.

Here's a mini-sequence of the Warrior poses that you can work on, by itself or as a part of a longer practice.   The Warrior poses are challenging to many of us.   Observe where your difficulties lie in these poses.   What is similar from pose to pose?   What is different?   What do you remember about these poses from class (or is some of this new to you)?   Were you given any instructions that helped your own pose during class?

In Warrior 2 and Warrior 1, bring front leg to right angle.

In all three poses, keep spine, back leg and arms fully extended!

As you transition from W. 1 to W. 3, step your back foot toward your front foot until you can shift all weight to your front leg as you push off with back leg.

If balancing in Warrior 3 is difficult, take hands to wall.   But don't give up on the balance right away!   Try it a bit, wobble a bit, develop a sense of equanimity about your challenges in these poses, then move on to something else!

For inspiration, look up the Warrior poses in Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, pp. 71 -- 74.   Look at the extension in his arms and legs!   He says that all standing poses are strenuous (you've experienced that, correct?), and in particular Warrior 1, so it shouldn't be held long by anyone, even those who are fairly strong.  (He recommends holding it 20 - 60 seconds per side).

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