Humble Warrior (Bound Warrior) Pose
Sanskrit: Baddha Virabhadrasana
Photo of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
at Humble Warrior (now in Walpole, MA)
Humble Warrior is one of my most favorite poses! I do this pose in most of my Vinyasa Yoga Flow classes. I just love it. As you flow down and bow in reverence, you are bowing to & honoring the Divine within. Go inward. Breathe deeply.
This is a great pose to tap into Ojjayi breathing (Ocean Breath) as you hold this pose for 5 long breaths. I love to visualize my breath as white light energy flowing to that front thigh that is being tapped into for strength and stability. As you tap into the power of your breath, your prana life force energy, it allows you to hold such poses longer and come into and out of poses with more ease and more grace.
Physically, this is an intense stretch for the hips, shoulders and chest. You are strengthening the legs, thigh, quads and glutes as well.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
From Warrior I with arms in the sky, inhale elongate, exhale bring hands behind your back, interlacing fingers or thumbs (visual example of this to the right). Open your heart, shoulder blades in towards the spine, gaze forward or up, gentle backbend here if you choose.
From here, inhale lengthen the spine once again and exhale down, hinge at the hips lowering your entire upper body down, while either keeping hands on your lower back or reaching up and away from your back for a deeper shoulder stretch. Bow to the Divine within. Breathe deeply.
Be mindfull here: Try not to grip with the toes, feel all four corners of your feet planted into the Earth. With good foundation and alignment you can more easily express outwardly in every pose. Hold for at least 5 deep cleansing breaths.
To come out: Release arms down as you inhale and lift your upper body up, reaching arms back up to the sky in Warrior I. Bring palms together at your heart for Namaste. Take a vinyasa flow (Plank pose, Chutterunga, backbend of your choice, Downward facing dog) and go to the other side!
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
High blood pressure, Heart problems, those with shoulder problems should keep their arms on their back while hands are clasped or release the clasp and lower to the mat. Listen to your body. Those with neck problems should keep their head in a neutral position and not bowing down too much.
Check out my calendar for group yoga classes dates and time.