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POSE OF THE WEEK: Learning Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Learning Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Also known as Fierce Warrior, this pose increases stamina

If I am being honest, Warrior II is not one of my favorite poses.  I have trouble holding my hips straight while tracking my knee over my pinky toe.  All the more reason that I need to work on this pose!!  I am sure to incorporate Warrior II in every one of my classes so that my students build the stamina and strength that they need to build upon this standing pose in the future.

Let’s begin!  Start in Downward Dog.  Lift your right leg to the sky.  Bend the right knee and hug the knee into your chest, then drop your right foot down between your hands.  Pivot on the back foot 90 degrees and ground down through the pink toe edge of the back foot.  While slightly bending in the front leg, inhale and cartwheel the arms open into a T (one arm in front of you, one arm behind you).  Your hips will be turned towards the long edge of your mat as you shift your gaze over the front middle finger.  To engage your shoulders, flip the palms up and draw the shoulder blades together.  Keep that engagement and flip the palms back down towards your mat.  Don’t lean the torso over the front thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the hips. Tuck the tailbone slightly and bring the belly button to the spine.  Glance down at your front knee and make sure you’re not sickling inward.  You want to see your big toe and make sure your knee is pointing towards the pinky toe edge of the front foot.  Inhale the gaze back up to center and breathe in this pose for at least 10 breaths.  To switch sides, cartwheel the hands over the front foot, planting the hands and stepping back to downward dog. Lift the left leg to the sky and begin setting up for Virabhadrasana II on the left side.

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Contraindications and Cautions

  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Neck problems: Don’t turn your head to look over the front hand; continue to look straight ahead with both sides of the neck lengthened evenly.

Modifications and Props

If you have difficulty supporting yourself in this pose, position a metal folding chair outside your left leg, with the front edge of the chair seat facing you. As you bend the left knee to come into the pose, slide the front edge of the seat under your left thigh (taller students may need to build up the height of the chair seat with a thickly folded blanket). Repeat with the right leg bent.

Benefits

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Increases stamina
  • Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy
  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica

 

I’d love to see and hear about your journey in Warrior II!

Namaste,

xo

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Uncategorized, Yoga

Hello! I have arrived.

Hello, fellow yogi and yoginis!  Thank you for stopping by!  I am Shari.  I live in Philadelphia with my husband, dog, and 2 cats.  I am a recent graduate of an YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) program where I earned an RYT-200 certificate. I am also certified as a Reiki II Practitioner.

I was first introduced to yoga in 2009 when I was in college.  I needed one elective to fulfill a requirement and I gave yoga a shot.  What better way to earn credits than taking part in a fitness class, right?  I remember one specific moment in class where I thought to myself, “whoa.  I feel something changing within me” even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that something was.  I started feeling more grounded, more relaxed.  I could shift my attention by closing my eyes and focusing solely on being present in my space on my mat.  By the end of my 6-week course, I was hooked.  I bought the first of many yoga books (Yoga, the Iyengar Way by B.K.S. Iyengar; Link: https://www.amazon.com/Yoga-Iyengar-Definitive-Illustrated-Guide/dp/0679722874/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495229492&sr=8-1&keywords=yoga+the+iyengar+way).  I even bought my dad a  yoga mat and tried teaching him ways to help him stretch and relax.  Who knows – maybe I knew then that I was going to become a yoga teacher one day!  I even bought a 10-class pass for a local studio.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t use all 10 classes but the 7 classes that I did take, I absolutely LOVED.  For a few years, yoga took a back seat and I didn’t practice consistently again until 2015.  At that point, I joined a pole fitness studio that also offered yoga.  I started taking 2 yoga classes a week for a year and I felt incredible.  In the middle of 2016, I asked my yoga instructor where she earned her certificate.  Afterwards, I looked into what I would need to do to become a Registered Yoga Teacher.  I didn’t go to an information session, I didn’t call to speak with anyone at the Yoga studio.  I knew what I wanted and I went for it.  I paid my tuition, emailed my application and began counting down the days until I started a new journey.  The next 6 months were the most incredible and magical moments of my life.  What I learned about myself & the connection between my mind, body, and soul cannot be explained.  What I would love to do is give each of my students the ability to delve deeper into our daily lives & provide our bodies and minds with a nurturing environment to be curious as to what we are capable of experiencing when we focus on what our bodies tell us.

I have completed a 200 hour intensive course and am so excited to begin teaching!  I am also looking forward to always being a student, learning new techniques and areas of yoga, as well as continuing my education to become a PRYT-200 (Prenatal Registered Yoga Teacher), making me eligible to teach Prenatal Yoga!  I look forward to teaching and learning from each and every one of you, my future yogis and yoginis.

Namaste

xo