Want your strength back? Pose like a warrior

Can you feel your strength dwindling away? It can happen subtly… and before you know it, you wake up one day mad at yourself for not doing something about it sooner.

A friend of mine in her early 50s said this very thing over the weekend. She did a lot of yard work — or attempted to — and was surprised at how just walking up and down her hill-like driveway twice wore her out.

Can you relate? Then decide today to do something about it. It won’t happen overnight. But you can get there with just a few poses a day. Here’s how…

Yoga has a famous set of poses or postures called “Warrior 1, 2, 3.” These help develop balance, leg strength, stamina, and stretch the spine and open the joints. In a previous video, we’ve shared all three Warrior poses.

In today’s video article, yoga teacher Lauren Golen will teach you Warrior 3, known traditionally as Virabhadrasana III. This posture or asana is great for legs, back, shoulders, hips and core, but could be difficult for those with tight hamstrings and shoulders. So take your time and do as much as you can; over time, your body will change and become stronger and more supple. Let’s give it a try…

Warrior 3: Starting position

Come to the back of your mat with your toes and heels together and raise your arms up over your head.

You can hold your arms apart with palms facing one another; or, if you are able, try to have palms touching and fingers interlaced, index fingers pointing.

Right foot warrior

Step forward with your right leg. Your left foot comes up but toes touching mat. Keep your body engaged and stretch upward.

Very slowly, while maintaining balance as you are able, tip the body down and extend it through your left leg backward and through your shoulders and arms forward.

Keep your core engaged throughout by pulling your belly in while leg and arms extend out. Also, you will press down through your supporting leg; in this case the right leg.

After a minute or two, or for however long you can hold this position, slowly come back up and step back to the edge of your mat, but keep your arms up and hands together.

Now repeat with the opposite leg for support by stepping forward with your left leg.

Left foot warrior

Step forward with your left leg. Your right foot comes up but toes touching mat. Keep your body engaged and stretch upward.

Very slowly, while maintaining balance as you are able, tip the body down and extend it through your right leg backward and through your shoulders and arms forward.

Keep your core engaged throughout by pulling your belly in while leg and arms extend out. Also, you will press down through your supporting leg; in this case the left leg.

After a minute or two, or for however long you can hold this position, slowly come back up and step back to the edge of your mat.

Closing

Lower your arms down, keeping elbows bent and hands in prayer position. Remain here for a moment and take a few deep breaths to re-settle yourself.

Follow Lauren on the video for more details on keeping or regaining balance, and ways to adjust the Warrior 3 posture as your body is able to do it more correctly over time.

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.

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