Friday, September 13, 2013

Fitness Friday - Reverse Warrior Yoga Pose

Today is the last week that we are looking at the Warrior Pose series from yoga.  Reverse Warrior is the last of the Warrior series and the one that I have tended to use the least in my Vinyasa classes and rarely in my Ashtanga classes.  All of the Warrior poses are standing poses and require a good amount of leg strength and flexibility, along with a good amount of balance.  Reverse Warrior is literally the reverse of Warrior One and flexes a different series of muscles than the other poses.

Reverse Warrior is a mild to deep backbend, depending on how far you take it during your practice.  I am finally able to take it to a deeper backbend than I was previously and this is one of the few backbends that I can do while standing.  I found more information on this pose from the About Health website, Reverse Warrior is a "standing backbend" that strengthens the leg and improves the flexibility of the spine.

The following are instructions for entering and holding the pose...

 - From Warrior II, bring the rear hand down the back of the rear leg.

-  Bring the front arm up next to your ear.

-  Keeping the front knee bent and directly over the ankle, reach the rear hand down as you come in to a backbend. Try not to put too much weight into the back hand so that your support is coming from the core, instead of your hand resting on your leg.

- Bring your gaze up to the front fingertips.

- Hold for up to five breaths and then switch sides.

I started doing this pose a few weeks ago but was placing too much pressure in my back hand and wasn't working my core correctly along with being afraid of putting pressure on my knee.  I need to focus on only placing my hand on the back of my thigh and not pressing down.  To make the pose harder and therefore work your core harder, you can wrap that hand around your back and then place all of the work into your core.  I have tried it this way once and I need to improve my core strength to remain in this position for five breaths on each side.

We are ending our Fitness Friday series on the Warrior Poses today and we are going to move away from yoga poses for the next few Fridays.  I think we are going to move back to food next...

photo courtesy of About Health

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