To be open yet grounded, strong but gentle, es a delicate balance in life, work, love, and yoga.
We often end up with the world on our shoulders. Sometimes by choice and other times by default. The weight can either feel unbearable or we have the strength to act as if it is not there.
This pose helps with our real life situations. A modified variation of Warrior II is designed to hit upon balance, strength, and openness. It's slightly different from the full expression. This pose can help carry the weight from our tough days, and build ourselves up.
From a tabletop position, position belly button over the handle or center of the board and palms below shoulders. Keep knees below the hips. The crown of the head will reach forward. We can stay here or move through some Cat-Cow poses to warm up the body and relax the mind.
Shift the weight into the right palm. Float the left knee off the mat or board. On the exhale extend the leg, long towards the back or tail of the board. Push through the heel. Rotate the left big toe down toward the mat.
If the balance becomes unstable, tuck the chin. Ground down through both hands. Lower the toes to connect with the board, or a low hover off the board.
On the inhale, bring the left knee into the left tricep. Set the left toes next to the left thumb. Gaze over the knee. The left toes should be in front of the left knee and below or outside of the shoulder. Encourage the knee to stay inline with the big toe, as it sometimes tries to roll open to the left. This spacing will help provide a stable base as we continue to build into the pose. This is an active pose.
Shift the weight into the hands. Left foot and right knee. Pick up the right foot and swing it across and to the right of the board. The right shin will be perpendicular to the board and left leg. Hook the toes of the right foot on the left rail of the board, if accessible. The right knee and left foot should be about shoulder width apart. And the belly button should be over the hand and/or center of the board.
Once the base of the pose is set. On the inhale. Engage the core. Bringing the belly button in toward the spine. Rise up, slowly, mindfully, through the crown of the head.
On the exhale, left hand reaches out over the left knee and toward the nose of the board. The right behind toward the tail. Soften the shoulders away from the ears. The fingers reaching in opposite directions should be in line with the shoulders. The gaze will go over the left hand.
This is modified Warrior II. Stay in this pose for three to five breaths, and then repeat on the other side. This can be added to Modified Warrior I and Revolved low lunge for a user friendly all level sequence.
Top photo: Kylie Turley. All ofther photos courtesy of Jeramie Vaine.