yoga poses for strengthBy Sangeetha Saran 

Practicing Yoga poses for strength is a great way to increase your physical health and endurance. There are many different Yoga postures that increase strength and flexibility. Warrior Pose is one of the primary poses of the full Sun Salutation series that increases both mental and physical strength. Before practicing Warrior Pose, it is a good idea to warm up with a few basic Sun Salutations.

The basic Sun Salutation begins with Tadasana or Mountain Pose. From Tadasana, as you inhale raise your arms to your sides and extend your hands over your head. While exhaling, slowly and deliberately bend forward and place your hands on your shins, ankles or on your Yoga mat. With your next inhale, lift your head and torso several inches up towards the sky while keeping your hands in place. Exhale and stretch back down towards your mat. With your next inhale, come to standing by bringing your hands up along your torso and over your head. With your next exhale, bring your hands back down in front of your heart in prayer position. This is a great way to warm up your body before practicing more vigorous standing yoga poses for strength.

To practice Warrior Pose, step or hop your feet three and a half to four feet apart. Turn your left foot in 45% toward your right foot. Extend your arms at shoulder height with your palms facing the floor. Gaze over the middle finger of your right hand and take one complete breath. With your next exhale, slowly bend your right knee perpendicular to the floor. Do not overextend your right knee, keep your knee in line with the vertical line of your knee. Hold the pose for three to five complete breaths. To come out of the pose, step or hop back into Tadasana.

Emotional strength and the ability to focus are also honed in Warrior Pose by practicing a steady drishti in the posture. By maintaining a steady gaze over your middle finger while practicing the pose, you will be able to witness the steadiness or fluctuating nature of your mind in that moment. If your mind or your gaze is wandering, gently bring it back and focus your gaze six to twelve inches in front of your hand. Invoke a sense of nobility and hold yourself with dignity as your practice Warrior Pose. This ennobled stance will also give you a sense of courage and fullness. Practicing Warrior Pose will help you to increase both your emotional and physical strength, so that you will feel stronger and more empowered both on and off the mat as a result of yoga poses for strength .

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