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The Beauty of the Humble Warrior

The Humble Warrior pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana, literally Bound Warrior pose) is one of those poses in which all aspects of yoga can come together: strength, flexibility, inward reflexion, acceptance and a sense of surrender to the universe.

As a person who is naturally more strong than flexible this pose always challenges me emotionally, the strong opening of the shoulders and chest makes me feel vulnerable, especially when I'm looking at the world invertedly... However the combination of the strength in my legs and the sense of surrender through the release of my head in the bow, help me to soften and stay with it. And then.... after a while the pose comes to me, I feel acceptance and the (emotional) release I feel can be quite exceptional....

Until you start to feel ease in the hips and as long as the head can not be released to the ground, it is not recommended to lift the hands behind the back. The pose can be practiced with the hands on the ground in order to focus fully on the opening of the hips first. Keep your chest open and lifted (try to walk your hands forward instead of bringing your elbows down) to avoid rounding through the upper back.

The deep hip opening can be intense especially knowing that we store many emotion in our hip area... Frustration, anger, or physically feeling sick, it can all happen to you in this pose... Stay with it, don't buy in to the emotions and don't overanalyse it. That way you will cleanse not only your body but also your mind.

The beauty of this pose (beside the many physical benefits) is that is helps you to find acceptance in where you are at. To surrender to your own being, your own self, to let go of judgements and expectations. To just be in the present moment and feel that it's all good...

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