In our premier Friday Focus we learned a trick for straightening our Triangle pose. Today, we will delve into what makes a triumphant Warrior by concentrating on the hips.
In order to obtain balance in many yoga postures, it is useful to learn to square the hips. Although this sounds very geometric, we are, after all, human in shape. Therefore, we should remember that our bodies are variable and that some hips may never be perfectly “squared”. But, as often occurs in the practice of yoga, we can apply modifications of the poses to work toward our intentions. So, let’s look to these variations of Virabhadrasana I or Warrior I Pose as we learn to level our hips.
Since this is a balancing pose, we will begin by grounding. Find a comfortable Uttanasana (forward bend) and keep the knees soft. Feel the feet root into the mat. I teach this as a preparation for Warrior I because it allows beginners to maintain contact with the floor for balance.
As you slowly begin to lift the leg, the tendency may be for your hip to rotate externally. This variation actually permits you to monitor the rotation of your lifted leg hip. Look back at your lifted foot. You will know rotation has occurred if you see the toes pointing outward.
Redirect the rotation of the foot so that the toes of the lifted leg point more downward. Then you will know that the hip is moving back toward neutral.
And, finally, using a chair for balance can give you more time in the posture to continue to work on the position of your hips.
When the hips are level or square, Warrior I is much more accessible and true to form!
As a side note, I am very lucky to have my daughter, Valerie, home early for the holidays, as my model this week!