Warrior 1 is a great hip opener and gentle backbend that simultaneously stretches the ankles, calves, hamstrings and groin.
- Strengthens the feet, ankles, knees, quads, hips and glutes.
- Stretches the ankles, calves, groin, hip flexors, obliques, lats, chest and shoulders.
- Opens up the hips.
- Increases mobility in the spine.
- From Downward Dog, turn your left foot out 45 degrees and press into your palms to make room for your right foot to step in between your hands.
- Inhale, keep your hips low and sweep your arms forward and up into Warrior 1. Exhale, sink into the pose. You can bring your hands together or keep them shoulder-width apart.
- Line up your front and back heels. (If that’s not doable, you can move your front foot out to the right so you’re not on such a tightrope.)
- Check that your front knee points straight ahead and comes directly above your right ankle.
- Turn your hips to face forward and try to bring your front thigh parallel with the mat.
- Engage the glutes on your back leg as you straighten your back knee—this will stabilise your left hip.
- Draw your ribs in to avoid overarching your lower back and lift up out of your pelvis.
- Hold the pose for 5-10 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- On your last exhalation, bring your hands back down to the mat and step back to Downward Dog for the other side.
- Although, ideally, your hips will point straight ahead, for some people, that’s not possible and it’s still a great hip opener.
VARIATION: Warrior 1 with Chest Opener
- To stretch your chest and deepen your backbend, interlace your fingers at the base of your spine and draw your shoulders back.
- Avoid this pose if you have a foot, hip or back injury.
MASTER THE POSE