Warrior 2 Flow
This week’s Art & Om takes us to the brand new mural outside The Cupboard, one of our karma yoga locations! Gabriel demonstrates a Warrior 2 flow to help you work on building strength from the lower body all the way up to the shoulders.
You can do a sun salutation to make your way into Warrior 2 from Down Dog, or step back into the pose from Mountain at the top of the mat. In Warrior 2, take a few breaths to allow yourself to arrive in the posture. Rooting down into the ground through the soles of the feet, drawing the front knee out to you get a stretch in the hips, and engaging the inner thighs. Like a marionette, imagine a string lifting you up from the crown of your head, stacking one vertebra on top of the other.
On an exhale, moving into Side Angle. There are so many variations of this pose! You can allow the elbow to rest gently on the front thigh, extend the finger tips down to the mat, or even find a half or full bind. Work on opening the chest up to the sky, lifting up from heart center, and utilize that core to create lightness in the upper body.
To make our way into Plank, bring both hands inside the front foot. Make sure the fingers are spread wide, and the biceps are hugging in towards each other. Step you front foot to the meet the other foot at the back of the mat. Send energy into the heels, and allow the hips to be just below the shoulders. Press the mat down and away from you, while engaging the core, and feeling the knee caps lift as the quads start doing work. Gaze is down at the mat, so there are no wrinkles in the back of the neck,
Bring the toes to touch, and let the heels fall to the left as the right hand reaches up to the sky for Side Plank. You can also modify this pose by dropping a knee or staggering the feet. Stack the shoulders, and come into one plane as if you are in Mountain Pose. Flex the feet like you are standing against a wall, and lift the hips up to get a nice deep stretch in the side body. You can go someplace new by finding tree legs, or lifting the top foot up to the sky!
This series of poses leave a lot of opportunity to explore what your body is capable of on the mat, and to get a nice workout for the whole body. You can add it to any Sun Salutation series or just practice this combination of poses by themselves.