Bow to the earth, focus inwards, and increase full-body flexibility with Humble Warrior Pose…
You may be very familiar with Warrior II or Warrior III, but what about Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)? This often-overlooked pose (also known as Devotional Warrior pose, Warrior Seal pose, Bound Warrior pose, or Silver Surfer pose) offers some unique benefits as it reminds us to look inward and find value in the introspection that yoga can provide.
This pose provides a great hip-opening stretch, while also opening the chest, shoulders, and rib cage. It also provides the benefits of inversion poses, but without your feet having to leave the floor. As opposed to the erect warrior poses, this pose opens the heart towards the earth, giving energy back to your roots and humbly honoring the earth beneath you. Performing Humble Warrior pose will help to build stability and flexibility throughout the entire body, even as it stimulates the nervous system and abdominal organs, stretches the shoulders, arms, legs, back, and neck, and strengthens the legs and ankles.
If you have limited flexibility, you can also practice the Humble Warrior pose with your hands clasping your elbows, or by holding onto a towel behind your back. To avoid injury, be sure to watch the front knee and make sure that it does not dip inward or extend beyond the ankle. If you feel strain in your hips, try widening your stance a bit.
Approach this pose with caution if you suffer from hip, knee, or lower back pain. Those with neck injuries should avoid this pose (try Lizard Pose instead).
Here’s how to do it, according to DoYouYoga.com:
- Begin in Warrior I with the right leg in front.
- Gently step your front foot one to two steps over to the right with your toes slightly turning right to keep the groin open and protect your knee.
- Interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale to expand your chest and lungs.
- As you exhale, continue to keep your heart open and gently bow forward. Your right shoulder may lovingly nudge your right leg even further to the right as you release your pelvis and drop deeper into the pose.
- As you become comfortable with this pose, try allowing the crown of your head to eventually touch the floor.
- As you exit this pose, stay mindful that this deep stretch places potential stress on the knee and lower back if you stand up too quickly. Make sure you gradually straighten the right leg and keep yourself grounded with your back leg as you rise.
- Pause in Warrior I for a few breaths before switching to your left side.