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devotional warrior (humble warrior)

by April 10, 2012

Devotional Warrior pose, sometimes known as Humble Warrior, does not have a Sanskrit name as it is not a traditional yoga pose. The name seems to be associated with the act of bowing down, as if in reverence, while performing it, although the origin is unclear.

It is known to be classified under the term of “krama”; which in Sanskrit means – in order, one after the other or gradually. There are a number of poses that can fit this classification, think of the transitional movements between poses that you are instructed to make in a class. You may be doing more krama than you thought!

Nonetheless, transitional poses can teach appreciation for the journey, instead of always looking to the destination. (a little on the mat off the mat wisdom)

Devotional Warrior

Begin in Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) with your right leg forward. Make sure your hips are facing forward, your left foot is facing out at a 45-degree angle, your shoulders are back and down and your front knee is straight over your ankle. Breathe out as you roll your shoulders back and down, bring your arms behind your back (lengthened) and clasp your fingers together trying to get the palms touching.

Inhale, and then as you exhale, swing your torso forward at the hips, keeping your spine straight and lengthened, your back leg straight and your front leg bent at the knee during the fold (same legs as Warrior I). Your head will be next to the inside of the knee of your right leg if you can get it there comfortably. As you hinge at the hips to go down, swing your clasped hands over your head. Hold this pose for a few breath cycles.

When you’re ready to switch sides, go back into Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) on an inhale with the right knee forward. Then, exhale the hands to the ground and step it back into Downward Facing Dog pose, transition into a Low Lunge with the left foot forward between your hands, come up into Warrior I on the left side and go into Devotional Warrior from there.

Benefits:

Opens the hips
Opens, stretches and strengthens the shoulders
Strengthens and limbers the legs
Encourages focus and reverence

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