The Warrior Asana (Yoga Pose)
Stand with the feet spread as wide as comfortable (usually just over hip-distance apart) and parallel. Turn the right foot to the side and then lift the left heel and place it down on an angle away from the body. Bend the right knee and make sure that you do not lower the body too much. The knee should not go any further than level with the ankle. You can adjust your stance to be wider, if desired, to create a stronger stretch (but never at the sacrifice of steadiness as this is a grounding pose). Take the arms up and outwards to the sides (palms facing downwards). The arms are held level with the shoulders. Turn the head to look along the right arm, keeping the neck straight. Energise the body. Feel a lifting throughout the spine while stretching the arms outwards through to the fingertips. Consciously lift the crown of the head towards the ceiling. Relax the neck. While in the pose feel the energy and the strength surging throughout the body. Stay in this position breathing deeply for 30 seconds (if possible). Straighten the leg and rise up to a standing position. Lower the arms and come back to the middle and then repeat to the other side. Repeat 3 times.
Benefits: Strengthens and limbers up the legs. Builds the muscles in the back and arms and tones the nervous system. Fights against lethargy. Helps elimination and circulation. Promotes self-confidence and enthusiasm. Inspires courage, vigour and strength.
Contra-indications: Avoid if suffering from serious conditions relating to the ankles, neck, back, shoulders and knees. Also avoid if suffering from high blood pressure.
Awareness: Grounding and strengthening.
Chakra: Muladhara (Base of the Spine)—Red
The Root Chakra or Base Chakra (Muladhara) is found at the base of the spine. It represents earth. This chakra governs all that is solid in the body (eg bones and teeth) and is associated with stability, solidarity and having one's feet planted firmly on the ground—feeling grounded and secure. Hence, grounding postures help to relieve anger and fear and give a sense of security, safety, peace and surrender. This chakra is also related to smell, explaining the balancing benefits of aromatherapy. This is the lowest level of vibration in the body. It is connected to the process of elimination and is a vital link to qualities such as strength, focus and courage. Imbalance in this area causes aggressiveness, self-destructiveness, anxiety, self-centredness, and fear.
Illustration by Joy Antonie from Magic Me: Yoga, A Magical Gift for All Ages by Jane Wiesner.
- An Important Message: read this before attempting the following asanas.
- The Windmill (Variation of Hasta Utthanasana)
- The Lightning Bolt (Utkatasana)
- The Swaying Palm Tree (Tiryaka Tadasana)
- The Maypole (variation of Kati Chakrasana)
- The Triangle (Trikonasana)
- The Mountain (Tadasana)
- The Bear (Variation of Sukhasana)
- The Duck (Utthanasana)
- The Emotive Influence Sequence