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Balancing Act: Warrior III with Yoga Blocks



This entry was posted on Could 31, 2022 by Charlotte Bell.

Years in the past, I keep in mind a senior Iyengar instructor telling workshop individuals that she’d deserted instructing Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III Pose). “It’s simply too onerous for too many individuals,” she mentioned. It’s true that it’s a difficult pose. Leg and core power may be formidable obstacles. However probably the most difficult facet is balancing.

The pose is disorienting, partly as a result of your torso is horizontal slightly than vertical. Our vestibular system, the equipment within the interior ear that provides our mind details about movement, head place and spatial orientation, is in an unfamiliar place in Warrior III. The pose challenges what your physique is aware of about its place in area. The identical is true in Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose). Within the latter pose, regardless that you’re sustaining two factors of contact (hand and foot), the pose is usually harder for practitioners than Vrksasana (Tree Pose). That’s partly as a result of the pinnacle shouldn’t be upright.

Within the effort to seek out stability on this unfamiliar orientation, we frequently abandon our consideration to alignment. (Concern of falling is a robust motivator.) Because of this, misaligning our our bodies over our standing leg contributes to additional balancing challenges.

Yoga Blocks to the Rescue in Warrior III

In Ardha Chandrasana, I’ve balance-challenged college students observe with their backs in opposition to a wall. This provides them the liberty to discover alignment with out having to fret about dropping stability. In Warrior III, inserting blocks below your palms does the identical factor. It offers your physique two further factors of contact.

If you really feel secure in Warrior III, you’ll be able to tune into extra delicate cues out of your physique. How are you distributing the burden in your standing foot? How is your pelvis oriented in relation to the ground? What’s the angle of your torso?

Even when you’re not struggling to stability, utilizing blocks on this approach is usually a nice instructing instrument in your house observe. Discovering your most secure alignment is far simpler if you’re not worrying about falling.

Why Observe Warrior III?

If this pose is so difficult, why even observe it? Listed here are some advantages:

  • Strengthens the muscle groups that defend your hip joints, in addition to the small stabilizing muscle groups of the ft and ankles 
  • Strengthens the core— the again and stomach muscle groups
  • Improves stability. If you problem your stability, you additionally strengthen your capability to stability.
  • Improves physique consciousness as you study to regulate your individual place in area. Difficult your vestibular system strengthens it.

Not like many bodily practices the place your physique stays in an upright place, yoga is exclusive in its capability to problem your vestibular system. Poses equivalent to Uttanasana (Standing Ahead Bend), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Dealing with Canine Pose), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), Warrior III, and naturally, Sirsasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) put your head in numerous relationships to gravity. This helps to strengthen your proprioception, and provides to your balancing talent.

How you can Observe

  1. Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) along with your ft hips-width aside on a yoga mat. Place two yoga blocks of their highest setting about two ft in entrance of you, on the mat. Taller college students could wish to use two 5-Inch Massive Foam Yoga Blocks. (I initially realized to enter Warrior III from Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose). However I really feel that it’s simpler to start out in Tadasana, since you don’t should shift your weight ahead onto your standing leg. You’re already the place it is advisable to be in relation to your standing leg.)
  2. Shift your weight onto your proper leg. Then elevate your left leg up behind you, permitting your torso to bend ahead.
  3. As soon as your torso is roughly parallel to the ground, place your palms in your blocks. It’s possible you’ll want to maneuver them nearer or additional away out of your standing leg. Your arms ought to find yourself in a vertical place.
  4. Start to play along with your alignment. Right here are some things to consider:
  5. Verify your hyoid bone. In different phrases, hold your head in a impartial place. Throwing your head again disengages your core muscle groups. Lengthen the space between your shoulders and your occiput (the bottom of your cranium).
  6. Verify your pelvic place. Since your standing hip joint is flexed and the highest leg is prolonged, you needn’t attempt to “sq.” your hips. The hip of the again leg is usually a little increased than the opposite one.
  7. Are you standing squarely over your standing leg? Discover in case your standing hip is pushing out to the facet. In that case, realign it over your foot.
  8. Is your again leg sagging down? In that case, elevate it as much as have interaction your glutes.
  9. Take 5 to 7 deep breaths within the pose, or extra when you’re feeling secure and relaxed.
  10. Raise your torso again to upright, returning to Tadasana. Take a second to tune into your physique. Really feel your ft on the ground. How does the feeling in your legs differ back and forth? How’s your respiratory?
  11. Repeat on the opposite facet.

About Charlotte Bell


Charlotte Bell found yoga in 1982 and started instructing in 1986. Charlotte is the creator of Conscious Yoga, Conscious Life: A Information for On a regular basis Observe and Yoga for Meditators, each revealed by Rodmell Press. Her third e-book is titled Hip-Wholesome Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Information to Defending the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Ache (Shambhala Publications). She writes a month-to-month column for CATALYST Journal and serves as editor for Yoga U On-line. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte performs oboe and English horn within the Salt Lake Symphony and folks sextet Crimson Rock Rondo, whose DVD gained two Emmy awards in 2010.

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