Art & Om: Warrior 1

Art & Om is our new weekly collaborative project with Karma Yoga Denton. We will explore Denton's art scene and also give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to master new yoga poses. We want to encourage you to get out and support the local arts, with a little flexibility. Karma Yoga Denton is currently trying to fund a mic & speaker system for their helpful community yoga classes. If you have a couple extra dollars, please pitch in here

Pose: Warrior 1 into Humble Warrior
Art: Mick Burson mural behind the Greater Denton Arts Council

This week’s pose is Warrior 1, or also known as Virabhadrasana One. This is a great foundational posture that pops up in our Sun Salutation B, and Dancing Warrior flows that we do often in class to help warm up and stretch the body.

In Downward Facing Dog, bring the big toes to touch, and then on an inhale sweep the right heel to the sky. Keep pressing the mat down and away from the chest, to maintain a nice long spine. Having the toes down in the lifted foot, also helps to square off the hips, and allow you to really feel the stretch in the left side body.

Begin to bend the right knee and draw it into the chest on an exhale as you shift your shoulders over the wrists. Hugging the knee in nice and tight with a slight arch in the back will help create the space needed to plant the foot between the hands at the top of the mat. So we are thinking Cat Pose as we roll the hips forward.  

Once the foot is planted, hug the outside of the right thigh in and spiral the back heel down. The toes should be more forward than the heel, and weight is shifting into the pinky edge side of the left foot. Focusing on creating a strong foundation from the ground up will help us find stability in our standing and balancing postures.

Using your inhale to get light on the finger tips, and lift the belly off the thigh as you sweep the hands up to the sky. Shoulders over the hips, and palms facing in towards each other. Drawing the right knee out so that the knee is over the ankle and you can see the first two toes of the front foot. Remember to keep the weight evenly dispersed between the heels, using each inhale to lengthen the side body, and each exhale to knit in the low ribs and root down through the feet.

To really work that core and those inner thighs and quads, we can transition into Humble Warrior. On an exhale sweep the hands behind you, interlacing the fingers. Use the next inhale to reach up from the heart and draw the fist down the back leg. On the exhale hinge from the hips as you bring the right shoulder to rest on the right knee, reaching the interlaced hands over head for a shoulder/chest opener. Contracting the shoulder blades, and drawing them down the back away from the neck, while the head hangs heavy – forehead reaching down to the mat. Think about energetically drawing the heels in towards each other, hugging the outside of the right hip in, and using the exhales to root down while firing up the core by drawing the belly button up and in, engaging your bhanda or core lock.