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Yoga Lab: Warrior III

Warrior III is a total body workout that builds heat and focus—it’s perfect for cold, winter months. A powerful balancing posture, you will hone your concentration while toning your muscles. It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 minutes during your work break or have carved out an hour for your yoga practice, this incredible pose can build core strength and boost your self-esteem anytime, anywhere. It is easy to practice for beginners and advanced practitioners can #GoDeep with variations.

Warrior 3 is a total body workout, building core strength through the front and back of the body—plus it tones the muscles of your arms, glutes and legs. 

Sanskrit: VIRABHADRASANA III

VIRABHADRA III = Warrior 3
ASANA = Pose

Step 1:

From a standing position with your left foot planted on the floor, place your hands on blocks directly underneath your shoulders. Lengthen your torso forward, parallel with the earth. Then, activate your right leg by bringing it parallel with the earth and flex the right foot. Square your hips down toward the ground. Repeat on the other side.

 

Step 2:

Once Step 1 starts to feel easy, bring your palms together in Anjali Mudra. Focus your eyes on a fixed point (aka drishti). Press down through your standing foot and lift through the sternum, softening your shoulders. Create a long line of energy from the crown of your head all the way down the back of the body through the foot.

 

Step 3:

When you’re feeling strong and ready to #GoDeeper, you can reach your hands back by your hips, sending energy through your fingers. Draw your naval in toward the spine, engaging your core muscles.  Keep your heart lifted, core activated, shoulders relaxed, and neck in line with the spine.

 

Warrior 3: 

You may find yourself in the full expression of Warrior 3 the very first time you try this, though most of us will stick with Steps 1, 2 & 3 for several weeks or even months of dedicated practice. Once you are ready, move from Step 3 into the full expression of your posture by activating your arms and reaching forward. Once you are experiencing the full expression of the pose, maintain your integrity for 5 deep breaths before releasing the posture. Then repeat on the other side. Practice 3-5 times throughout the day for maximum benefits!

Benefits

  • *Total body strengthener!
  • *Tones muscles of arms, legs & glutes
  • *Cardiovascular stimulation
  • *Stretches standing leg and shoulders
  • *Develops balance and attention
  • *Boosts confidence and self-control

Contraindications

  • * High blood pressure
  • * Recent or chronic injury token, hamstring, hip, ankle

 

Yoga Lab: Boat Pose

Boat Pose is a deep core activator you can practice anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 minutes during your work break or have carved out an hour for your yoga practice, this incredible pose can build core strength and boost your self-esteem anytime, anywhere. It is easy to practice for beginners and advanced practitioners can #GoDeep with variations.

Boat Pose is a total body workout, building core strength through the front and back of the body—plus it tones the muscles of your arms and legs. 

Sanskrit: Navasana

Nava = Boat
Asana = Pose

Step 1:

From a seated position with your knees bent and feet planted on the floor, activate your belly by drawing the naval in toward the spine. Lift your feet up so your shins are parallel to the floor. Begin by holding onto the backs of your thighs to support yourself. Lift through your heart and allow your shoulder blades to glide down your back.

 

Step 2:

Once Step 1 starts to feel easy, begin to activate your arms and reach forward. Send energy through your fingers and allow your hands to face each other. Keep your neck in line with your spine, and gaze forward & up slightly. Continue to activate your core by drawing your lower belly down and in toward the spine.

 

Step 3:

When you’re feeling strong and ready to #GoDeeper, you can hold on behind your thighs as you straighten your legs, creating a ‘V’ shape with your body. Keep your heart lifted, core activated, shoulders relaxed, and neck in line with the spine.

 

 Parippurna Navasana (AKA Full Boat Pose)

You may find yourself in full boat pose the very first time you try this, though most of us will stick with Steps 1, 2 & 3 for several weeks or even months of dedicated practice before we move into Parippurna Navasana with integrity. Once you are ready, move from Step 3 into the full expression of your posture by activating your arms and reaching forward. Avoid rounding your lower back or collapsing in your chest—these are signs that practicing longer in Steps 2 & 3 may be beneficial. Once you are experiencing the full expression of the pose, maintain your integrity for 5 deep breaths before releasing the posture. Practice 3-5 times throughout the day for maximum benefits!

Benefits

  • *Builds core strength through front and back body 
  • *Tones muscles of arms and legs  
  • *Can improve posture 
  • *Relieves stress and stimulates thyroid
  • *Improves digestion
  • *Supports kidney, intestines & prostrate for men
  • *Builds focus and concentration
  • *Boosts confidence and self-control

Contraindications

  • *Recent or chronic injury to abdomen, hips, shoulders
  • *Nausea, diarrhea or digestive issues

Yoga 101: Humble Warrior

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

Saint Augustine

 

One of the fascinating parts of yoga asana is the hidden meaning that lies beneath the form. Unpacking each pose or posture can deepen awareness of the subtle effects of the practice. Whether we are opening our hearts or folding forward, each posture contains a symbolic meaning that is supported by the physical form.

Humble warrior is a posture where the yogi bows forward in a Warrior I stance with their hands clasped behind their back. Bowing forward, tucking and rounding the torso, the yogi allows their hands to move toward the floor in front of their head staying mindful to release the shoulders away from the ears.


The adjective “humble” comes from latin roots humilis, which can be translated as “from the earth” or “grounded.” Defined as “a modest or low view of one’s importance,” humility or “being humble” can easily be associated with the emotions of submission or passivity. However, the asana, Humble Warrior, invites forth a new, more expansive definition of being humble.

If you have ever attempted the posture, you already know that Humble Warrior requires an incredible amount of strength and balance alongside an element of surrender.


Each stage of entering the posture teaches us something about embodied humility.

  • – We first find stability and presence with solid footing and a rooted foundation.

  • – Then we balance our hips as we send our front knee out directly over the ankle.

  • – Our hips are strong emotional centers in our bodies and, by balancing and opening our hips in this posture, we are also releasing stuck emotional energy.

  • – Lifting and opening the heart, we clasp our hands behind us, melting our shoulder blades down our backs and interlacing the fingers.

  • – The next action is to draw the navel toward the spine, tucking and rounding, engaging the core.

  • – At the core resides an energy center called the Manipura Chakra, which is associated with self-esteem and confidence. A strong sense of self helps this energy center stay vital and healthy. Likewise, a healthy sense of self precedes humility.

  • – After we lift the heart and engage the core, we bow the head toward the inside of the front foot, releasing the head and the neck, while keeping our hips and shoulders aligned.


Humble Warrior teaches us that humility is much more than submission, or even letting go of pride.

Here’s one way to look at the subtleties of the posture: Finding stability and strength, we can stand in the present moment on our own two feet. By aligning and opening our hips, we balance and let go of stuck emotional energy, generating inner peace. By releasing our shoulders (or “should-ers”) down our back with our clasp, we open and lift the heart. Engaging our strong core, we express a healthy sense of self. And, finally, surrendering to higher power with a deep bow toward the floor, we let go of pride.

With each step, we discover our own sense of humility. Far from passive or submissive, we are strong, balanced, open, and bowing to a power higher than ourselves in this posture… and in life. Humble Warrior helps us to develop the body wisdom and state of mind that expresses humility.


“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

-C.S. Lewis


Enjoy this article? #GoDeeper and learn the ins and outs of the form with Five Pillar’s article: The Other Warriors: Reverse and Humble.


*Article Image taken from http://blog.robertrandall.com