One of our favorite groups of poses is the group of warrior poses. Because these poses are fun and empowering, they are popular. But don't let the name mislead you!
We tend to think of warriors as wearing armor. In yoga, the warrior represents the strength of openness and the expansion of consciousness. The rosebud makes an appropriate analogy. A rosebud that is not nourished or is pinched off from its source will wither and die. A fully nourished and strong rosebud will open and bloom. Both are fragile flowers, but one of them never realizes its potential. The other does.
When you practice the warrior poses, visualize your entire center holding itself up. This internal lift, while moving into, holding, and out of the warrior poses, strengthens and tones your muscles from the inside out. Also lift your abdomen while in the pose. You can still breathe fully and fully expand your abdomen while you keep it lifted; the lift supports, rather than impedes, the breath. Think strong foundation, lengthened body, fluid movements, easy balance.
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