5 Common Misalignments In Warrior I And How To Fix Them

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Warrior I is a pose we practice quite often in yoga; it is a great pose for opening up tight hips and shoulders. Warrior I also builds strength in the legs and core as well as arms and upper back.

I love the¬†Warrior Pose because it boosts our confidence. But I especially like Warrior 1 since we’re looking up and breaking any ceilings that we might have created above us. To shatter our obstacles above, we need to have the right stance, stability, and breathing.

As a yoga teacher, I see many mistakes and misalignments when doing Warrior 1. It’s vital to correct these, or we could damage our lower backs, shoulders, and knees. Here are the most common mistakes I see as a teacher of yoga.

It’s a good idea to check in the mirror when you are practicing in a studio or alone to make sure that you don’t fall into any of these Warrior I misalignments. After you’ve corrected them, you can use your breath and proprioception as a way to maintain good form.

The front knee drops or goes past the front toes.

This is a common mistake, especially in people with weak inner thighs and glutes. In Warrior I, it’s important to keep the front leg’s knee tracking over the ankle. You can damage your medial cruciate or kneecap if you let your knee fall inwards. Your knee should be aimed over the ankle, between the second and third toe.

The back heel turned too far out.

This is something I see EVERY TIME. The majority of people don’t realize that the back foot is in this position. If it’s not turned to a 75-degree angle and turned forward, the risk of injury to the ankle, the knee, and even the hip can be high. Keep pressing firmly on the outside edge of the shoe and angling the foot forward until the hip is also moved forward.

Lower back arching

Warrior I, a beautiful backbend, occurs on the upper back and not the lower. Students often sink into their lower backs and fall in this pose. You can use your legs to support your torso.

Lift your front hip rims while engaging your lower abs. Imagine that your back ribs are floating away from your hips. Narrow your bottom front ribs. Lift the sternum to arch your upper back.

A stance that is too narrow or short.

If you walk on your toes like you are tightrope walking, you will feel unsteady. Imagine your legs as a railroad track, and keep them hip-width apart. Stepping the back leg out further will help you keep your hips facing forward and the back foot pointing forward.

Step your front foot forward far enough so that the knee does not extend past the ankle. Aim to have your legs hip-width apart and at least one leg’s length apart.

Shoulders raised and arms relaxed.

You must lift the whole pose in Warrior I. Remember to include the arms and legs. I often see students with bent elbows and elevated shoulders. Think about engaging the scapula along the back and pressing the tops of your shoulders away from your ears. Extend your arms from elbow to wrist.

If your shoulders are tight, keep them open with palms facing each other. If you have enough range of movement, you can also press your palms together. Look up at your hands to see how you are moving beyond your limitations, and continue reaching for the skies!

Warrior 1 is a great pose that will help you build strength, flexibility, stamina, and confidence. It also gives your legs and core a solid foundation. It’s important to be a fit warrior and stay aligned properly so you can continue practicing yoga for a lifetime…injury-free.

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