Yoga Pose of the Week: Warrior 3

Warrior 3

This is a variation on the warrior 3 pose. If you feel balanced today, you can give it a try for more of a challenge.

I have terrible balance some days, but I really love practicing balance poses! The ones I enjoy most are often closer to the ground, like crow pose – not as far to fall that way! – but I really love doing the warrior series.

It’s a great work-out if you include all of the warrior poses, but the balance pose, warrior 3, is perhaps the best of the three at giving you a good all-around stretch.

What it does

Works your abdomen muscles, your back, your biceps and shoulders, and your legs. Crazy, right? Your abs and back are working to keep your body straightened out, your legs, arms, and shoulders are all working to keep you balanced.

Why it helps

Improving your balance is invaluable. If you’re a bit clumsy, then improving balance will help you gain better control of your reflexes. However, improved balance can help your posture, flexibility, and awareness of your muscle movements—which can be huge if you play sports!

Source: Jenny Sugar’s post on FitSugar
Photo by: Flickr user Yoga Mama

How to Balance Like a Warrior

  1. Stand up straight, feet together or hip-width apart.
  2. Bring your arms up to shoulder height in a T form.
  3. Choose a foot to stand on, and shift your weight onto that side. Ground down through all four sides of your foot. If it helps to visualize that you are growing roots into the floor through your foot, practice visualizing that to help stabilize yourself.
  4. Slowly lean forward, keeping a straight back, and bring the opposite foot back up off the floor.
  5. Level out so that your arms and back leg are parallel to the floor.

The Finer Details

  • Your head should be parallel to the floor as well You may want to lift your face up to look forward, but you’re putting strain on your neck by doing that. Try to keep your neck in line with the rest of your (flat) spine.
  • If your balance is off today, stand closer to a wall where one of your outstretched arms can help steady you if you need it.
  • Be sure to keep your weight evenly distributed. It can be tempting to roll forward or backward and put more weight in the ball or heel of your foot, but try to ground down through your whole foot from every side.

Discomfort

If your shoulders are tight, don’t force your arms wider or further upward. If you can’t bring them completely parallel with the floor, that’s all right. Same goes for your back leg. If your hips are tight, only bring your back leg up as far as is comfortable.

Take it to the next level

These are challenging, and it might be best if you have a partner or use the wall if you want to try these out.

  1. If you want more of a challenge, you can bring your hands into prayer position behind your back.
  2. You can also clasp your hands behind your back and stretch your arms back toward your outstretched foot.

You can do any other variations you like with your arms to increase the stretch there, but again, it may be helpful to stand near the wall or have a partner stand by in case you lose your balance at any point.

Hold It

When it comes to balance, it can be more difficult to hold poses for a count. Your mind can become too focused on the count instead of on not falling. If you find this to be the case, just hold it as long as you can and as long as seems reasonable. You may only manage a couple seconds, or you might be able to stay up for a half a minute. Either way, don’t push yourself. It’s important to keep yourself steady, without hyperextending any of your muscles.

Falling causes your body to tighten up—to brace for impact, as it were. When that happens, you can tweak some muscles, particularly knees, hips, and shoulders, so if you’re going to fall, it’s more important to avoid hurting yourself rather than maintaining the pose.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

No matter what, yoga is all about YOU. Getting in touch with your body, your comfort level, and your breath. Never hold a pose longer than is truly comfortable to do so, and if you experience discomfort or pain in a pose, ease up or change poses to relieve the discomfort.

REMEMBER: In yoga, your practice is YOUR practice. Nobody’s yelling at you to move faster, bend lower, or breathe deeper. There’s no competition, no drill sergeant trainer, and no counter telling you how many reps to do. If you can’t get the full pose today, it’s all right. You’ll try it again another time when you feel more flexible and more comfortable with it.

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Disclaimer:  
The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition. Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the exercises, remedies, or health tips on this website to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.
About Jessica

I'm a writer, blogger, and just your average gal trying to live a healthy, happy life. I'm no expert, but my knowledge comes firsthand from my own dieting, exercise, and overall wellness experiences. Tweet me @cultivate happy!

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