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  • Dr. John Bohlmann, N.D.

Strike a Pose for Health (4)


As I briefly described in my last post, yoga combines strength, flexibility and breath exercises while offering a gateway to the deeper philosophical inquiries that come from the experiences we have as human "beings". It's a great segue into the meditative mindset and the art of mindful living.

Before introducing the next pose let me start with the same general ideas for you to consider that were proposed in the last pose.

  • Practice only if you choose to do so and if you feel healthy enough to do so.

  • You might want to follow the linked video showing you how to get into the pose if you've never done it before

  • Allow 5 minutes of uninterrupted time to experience the pose

  • Practice barefoot if possible and on a firm surface

  • Maintain the pose for the entire 5 minutes if possible. Rest only if needed and make subtle adjustments along the way to explore your body's capabilities within the pose.

  • Plan to do your pose once in the morning and once in the evening for 3 consecutive days

  • Pain is not a call to "push through". Stop and rest if there's pain

  • It might even be worthwhile to keep a notebook handy to jot down any insights gained during your practice.

  • You may experience different emotions during your practice. Let them come to light so you can determine how they are contributing to the creation of your life (positively or not). Happiness always serves your best interest! Boredom is the indication that you are not engaged in the practice.

  • Pay attention throughout your day to see where your pose practice supports your activities (movements or thought processes)

Now for our third pose....

Warrior 2 Pose

The first two poses we practiced had only one shape and the stances were simple and uniform from side to side. Warrior 2 pose is slightly more complex because it can be called a "sided" pose. This means that there are two separate poses built into one depending on the specific way you get into the pose. You can't really call one version a "right" sided and the other a "left" sided pose because you will still be utilizing both sides of the body and brain as you practice it.

Practicing these types of poses offers a good opportunity to check in with your left vs. right balance. Some spiritual practitioners have made the connection between the left side of the body and the feminine aspects of the psyche. The right side of the body would then correlate to the masculine aspects of the psyche. No matter what your gender is, a balance in these two (left/right - female/male) makes for the better alignment and a smoother flow between the psyche and the physical structure.

Make note of areas of imbalance and let the pose bring back perfect balance.

There are a few "warrior" poses in yoga each offering it's own value to the yogi. I chose warrior 2 because I like the sense of expansion that comes from practicing this pose. It has so much to offer you by way of strength and flexibility that I recommend adding this pose to any daily exercise routine

Before getting into this pose, consider the "warrior" mentality.

The word "warrior" summons an image of one who is powerful, brave, focused, idealistic and deeply attuned to his/her purpose. The warrior is driven by honor to defend his/her truth. In fact, the warrior is continually ready and willing to put his/her life on the line to defend what he/she holds true in the heart!

When was the last time you felt so passionate or purpose-driven that you put your whole life into it? Wouldn't it be nice to wake up each new day with the feeling of excitement that comes from knowing you are about to experience something you are passionate about?

OF COURSE IT WOULD!!

Warrior pose is the perfect pose to begin the new year or even a new day. As you practice this pose, allow yourself to align with the things you love to do and the ideals by which you want to live. Let this pose bring your passion and purpose into your awareness. Prepare to be energized to act on your purpose-defined goals!!

Getting into warrior 2 pose:

  1. Set your timer for 2-1/2 minutes (you're going to practice both the left and right sides for a total of 5 minutes)

  2. Stretch your arms and hands out to the sides at shoulder level

  3. Step your feet wide so they are beneath your hands

  4. Begin on the right side by turning your right foot out so your toes point to the right.

  5. Turn your left foot slightly to the right (maybe 45 degrees)

  6. Bend the right knee to 90 degrees while keeping the left leg straight and the left foot fully grounded.

  7. Finally, turn your head to the right and gaze along the right arm and out over your fingertips.

While in warrior 2 pose:

  1. Tune in to your breath cycle. A steady and complete breath cycle is necessary for optimal oxygenation of your cells

  2. Find a balance between your feet. There is a strong tendency to favor the front/bent leg side while the trailing foot comes ungrounded.

  3. Check to make sure the trailing leg is straight and both feet firmly and equally grounded.

  4. Energize the upper back muscles to open the chest while stabilizing the outstretched arms.

Switching positions:

  1. Begin releasing the pose by bringing your arms down.

  2. Stand up tall by straightening your knees

  3. Turn both feet back to parallel while bringing them together.

  4. Repeat the steps above only turn the left foot to face the left and turn the right foot 45 degrees to the left.

  5. This time the left knee will bend and your head will turn to look out over your left arm.

To come out of warrior 2 pose:

  1. Begin releasing the pose by bringing your arms down to your sides.

  2. Stand up tall by straightening your knees

  3. Turn both feet back to parallel while bringing them together.

  4. Take another complete breath in and out to anchor your experience into your body and go about your day!

Here's a basic video showing warrior 2 pose being performed.

Enjoy this pose for now and I'll be introducing a new pose in a few days!


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