- Start in Downward Facing Dog.
- Bring your right foot through and place it between your hands.
- Look at your back foot. Plant it at a 90 degree angle on your mat, and line up the instep with the heel of the front foot.
- Windmill the hands and torso back and up, finding Warrior II. Keep a deep bend in the front knee, without letting the knee go past your heel (you should still be able to see your toes).
- Now lift your right hand high while lowering your left and sliding it down the back of your thigh.
- Bring your gaze heavenward while lifting the heart in praise & thanksgiving.
By far one of my favorites, Exalted Warrior gives me the joyous feeling of lifting up praises to heaven.
Downward Facing Dog, or just Down Dog, is another foundational yoga pose. From the base of this posture, the yogi transitions to many others. Done often and properly, it can even be a resting pose.
It brings oxygen to the brain and increased blood flow to the body. It elongates the neck and spine. The hamstrings, calves and Achilles tendon gain flexibility in this pose. The wrists, arms, shoulders and abs gain strength.
A typical modification for this pose is to put one knee on the floor. This is excellent for those who do not yet have the strength for a full Side Plank.
Definitely a power house pose, Plank is great work for the transverse abs -- your primary posture muscles. It also strengthens the front of the legs, arms (if you don't lock your elbows), and shoulders.
Forward fold turns the practitioner inward and promotes relaxation. The intense compression then release of the digestive organs allows for a fresh flood of blood and a loosening and release of toxins into the blood stream. It also helps move things along through the intestines. It takes the pressure off of the lower spine and elongates the back, often relieving pain. Uttanasana brings blood and oxygen to the brain. And, of course, it brings more flexibility to the hamstrings.
It is not necessary to fold completely in half with straight legs. Far more important is to maintain a flat back. If that means you have to bend your knees because there is not enough space in the hamstrings, then by all means bend your knees.
Some things to remember:
You can adjust how low you sit down to your capabilities, as long as you do not bend the knees greater than 90 degrees.
To make the pose more challenging, try coming up onto the balls of the feet or letting the weight come back into the heels and lifting the toes.
Welcome to JesusIsMyGuru.com, an online window into the heart of AJ Arias, a disciple of Jesus Christ and yoga practitioner. She uses this space for self-expression, to join with other seekers of truth who come this way and explore the realms of possibility together. May it serve you.