By: Bronwyn Ison

Imagine nearly one thousand distinct yoga poses. My series of recent articles could be endless. The previous two weeks of articles have been descriptions of yoga poses (asanas). The given names and physical postures draw awareness to our natural habitat relating to the archetypes of animals, nature, and tools. Originally, the postures names are in Sanskrit. Our westernized culture respects the Sanskrit language but better identifies with English given names and descriptions of the postures. Yoga allows us to gain flexibility, strength, and improves self-esteem.

Three postures that can improve your confidence are the three Warriors (Virabhadrasana, 1, 2 & 3). The warrior one, two and three postures symbolize strength and confidence like a warrior. Each warrior is different yet important to your practice. Warrior poses involves full body integration, awareness, and stability. When practiced properly each warrior can make you stronger physically and mentally.

The Do’s and Do Not’s of Warrior Postures


Warrior one tones the legs and buttocks, opens tight hips flexors, strengthens thigh muscles (quadriceps), and strengthens shoulders.
Don’t: A short stance in warrior one will not allow you to reap the benefits of this posture and you could injure yourself. A short stance places the knee over the front ankle. Excessive pressure is placed on the knee and this is dangerous. You will miss the benefit of the quadriceps gaining strength.
Do: Coming into Warrior one from Downward Facing Dog, step one foot forward and place in between your hands. If you are tight in your hamstrings or calves you may need to pick up your foot and place in between your hands. Direct the front knee over the ankle, relax the back foot down into your mat at a 45 degree angle, look for a heel to heel alignment, raise your arms above your head, and stay lunged into the front knee.

Warrior two also tones and strengthens legs, opens the hip flexors, improves abdominal strength, and gives length to the spine.
Don’t: A short stance as in warrior one can be dangerous. Don’t allow the outer edge of the back foot to lift off your mat. Keep the back leg strong and straight (don’t bend the back knee)
Do: Keep a wide stance (same as a warrior one). Keep a lunge in the front knee. Firm both legs. Alignment is heel to arch (front heel aligns with back arch). Arms reach out to the side in line with your legs and away from your body. Keep torso lifted.

Warrior three helps improve balance. The standing on one leg and extending the other leg behind you off the floor helps build strength into the standing leg. The abdominals engage and your breath calms and centers you. Begin at the top of your mat in mountain pose, Tadasana. Place your hands on your hips and begin to extend one leg behind you while simultaneously shifting the torso forward.
Don’t: Do not be fearful while balancing on one leg. It does not matter how high your leg raises behind you. This is a pose that requires steadiness and practice.
Do: Stay confident like a warrior. Fixate your gaze on focal point. Engage the extended and standing leg. Strengthen the abdominals and breathe.

It is with great hope the brief overview and description of the postures will encourage you to seek a yoga class near you. It is very important to seek a teacher/studio who has excellent teaching credentials, listens to your needs, and cares about their students.

For more information about Yoga, visit: or call (760) 564-YOGA (9642) Bronwyn Ison, E-RYT 200, Evolve Yoga ~ Owner

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