Our May Posting of the Month is from teacher Julie Amers who describes one of the poses in her regular practice - Virabhadrasana 1.
Virabhadrasana I - Warrior Pose I
Virabhradrasana I is one of the basic standing poses and a great one to practice regularly.
This pose stretches tight calves and hamstrings. It relieves stiff shoulders and back muscles. It opens the chest to aid breathing. All of this makes for an energising and uplifting posture.
When practising this pose you want your front leg to make a right angle with the thigh and shin and for the knee not to bend beyond the ankle. It’s important that the back leg stays straight. The trunk faces the bent leg and stays upright. The arms extend strongly upwards to stop the pose feeling heavy.
It’s not a pose to hold for a long time. Mr Iyengar recommends only 20- 30 seconds maximum, with normal breathing.
If you are tired you can keep the hands on the waist. If you struggle to straighten the back leg, try pushing the back heel into a wall. Using a brick between the palms or a belt around the wrists can help to learn to work the arms and upper back more effectively.
Although it’s a challenging posture for most people, it’s also a joyful pose and very rewarding for the body, mind and breath.