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What Are the Benefits of Warriors in Yoga?

by
author image Raquelle Ross
Raquelle Ross is a yogi, lover of real, healthy food & unabashed coffee addict. She's a believer in finding time to break a sweat daily and is a fan of yoga, running, hiking, circuit training and Pilates. On her healthy lifestyle blog, theholisticblogger.com, Raquelle share recipes made with heathy, clean ingredients and geeks out over all-things fitness.
What Are the Benefits of Warriors in Yoga?
Unleash your inner warrior. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Warrior poses are more than a warm up, they're the fundamentals that build your practice. And when practiced with integrity, you'll reap their many physical and mental benefits both on and off your mat.

In yoga, there are three warrior poses, these are the benefits of each.

Start With Warrior I

This first warrior pose helps increase your internal awareness, as you need to make little mental notes while in the pose to be mindful with your body. Check in with yourself: How are you breathing? Continue to remind yourself to focus on your breath as you hold this position.

HOW TO DO IT: Separate your feet and bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle, aligning it directly over your ankle. Draw your pelvis into a neutral position and keep both of your hips forward. Your back leg is straight and strong and your back foot is angled about 45 degrees and fully grounded. Extend your arms overhead and align your chest with your hips.

Benefits of Warrior I

  • Builds internal heat for the rest of your practice
  • Increases body awareness
  • Stretches your shoulders, arms, groin and legs
  • Strengthens your shoulders, arms, back, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Opens your hips and chest
  • Teaches your mind to stay grounded while facing a challenge
  • Improves stability mentally and physically
  • Humbling yet empowering
Stand strong in warrior II.
Stand strong in warrior II. Photo Credit Veles-Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Open Up With Warrior II

This five-pointed-star position has plenty of benefits similar to the first warrior pose, but stretches and strengthens your muscles in a slightly different way.

HOW TO DO IT: With your legs spread into a lunge, keep your front heel aligned with the arch of your angled back foot. Visualize your heel and arch pulling toward each other. Deepen the pose by spreading your feet wider apart to open the groin. The arms are stretched out straight to the side, strengthening and stretching their muscles.

Benefits of Warrior II

  • Builds internal heat for the rest of your practice
  • Stretches shoulders, hips and groins
  • Strengthens shoulders, arms, back, thighs, calves and ankles
  • Opens your hips and chest
  • Energizes your limbs
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Relieves back pain
  • Good for pregnant women in the second trimester with back pain
  • Improves circulation
  • Teaches the mind to stay calm while facing a challenge
  • Improves stability mentally and physically
  • Cultivates patience
  • Builds courage and inner strength
Challenge your balance and core strength.
Challenge your balance and core strength. Photo Credit fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Take Flight With Warrior III

Warrior III is the most physically challenging variation of the warrior postures. One leg serves as your foundation, supporting the weight of your body. There are a few ways to enter into this pose, but the first warrior usually sets the stage.

HOW TO DO IT: From warrior I, lower your torso, keeping your chest and hips square. Come onto your back toes and lift your back leg off the ground. Straighten your standing leg as you tilt your torso, chest and hind leg to be aligned parallel to the mat. Arms can either be by your sides, spread out wide or overhead.

Benefits of Warrior III

  • Builds internal heat
  • Energizes your entire body
  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Tones abdominal and leg muscles
  • Improves balance
  • Encourages good posture
  • Teaches the mind to stay strong while facing a challenge
  • Builds confidence
  • Improves stability mentally and physically

What Do YOU Think?

How has your practice benefitted from these poses? Are there other benefits we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!

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