By Bonnie Efird
Warrior I is a staple pose in most Hatha style (physical) yoga classes. Hatha includes all of the different physical lineages of yoga, including the popular Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga and Anusara styles. This pose allows the practitioner to strengthen the front quad, find length through the spine and side bodies, and open up the back hamstring. Notice how her front knee is at 90 degrees, parallel to the floor. Her knee is aligned right over her ankle. Her back foot grounds into the earth and her back leg is straight with her toes pointing in about 45 degrees. Both of her hips are facing forward – this is a parallel hip pose, unlike Vira II, which is an open hip pose. She is rising up out of her hips and sending upward energy (prana), through her fingertips. Her gaze is slightly upward to find length in the back of the neck. Every part of her body is working to sustain this strengthening and invigorating pose. To find your inner peaceful warrior, add Vira I to your yoga practice.