Try out ‘warrior III’ pose this week

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

Align your shoulders this week with ‘warrior III’ pose. Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga says this is a great way to stretch your groin and legs.
“Stand at the front of your mat, with both feet facing forward. Shift your weight onto the right foot and step your left foot back three – four feet (depending on the length of your legs),” says Whitby. “Place your left foot parallel to the short edge of your mat. Turn your upper body slightly so that your chest is facing the left. Engage the muscles in your core as you lift the arms until they are parallel with the floor. Relax the shoulders. Bend your right knee as you descend into this pose keeping the knee in line with the foot.”
Whitby adds, “Always make sure you can see your toes in front of your knee. Widen your stance as needed to make sure that your front knee does not move forward past your ankle. Slowly turn your head to look over the front hand. You are now in warrior II. From here flip the palm of the front hand up (as if serving a plate) then push that hand up as the back hand comes down and is gently placed on the back leg. You can turn your head to look past your elbow or up past the raked hand, if it’s comfortable in your neck. Hold for three-10 breaths. Inhale to come up. Switch and repeat.”
Modifications and props:
If your hips feel tight, shorten your stance and don’t bend the knee as much; stay comfortable as you work on gaining flexibility. Place your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury or if you are building upper body strength.
Make it more challenging:
Continue to widen your stance as you build up strength and work to bring the front thigh parallel to the floor. Hold for up to one minute or repeat a couple of times on each side.
Beginner’s tip:
Hold a chair with the back hand for more stability. Shorten your stance and only bend the knee a little bit until you build up strength. Only turn your head as far as your neck will allow. Work to keep the knee from falling inward.
A powerful stretch for the legs, groin, and chest. Helps to align your shoulders, pelvis and hips. It also builds total body strength while increasing stamina and aligns the shoulders.

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