A Scaravelli Approach to Warrior One, By Frankie Walker

At the moment, I am really enjoying the pose we call warrior one in my practice. This asymmetric standing pose feels beautifully grounding and at the same time there is so much expansion possible as well as an invitation into a back-bend. Even though Scaravelli inspired yoga isn’t a method where we tend to approach warrior 1 with a square pelvis, have relatively parallel feet and a broad base.

A good way to start is to stand feet hip distance apart, heels dropped directly in line with the ball and socket joints of the hips.
From standing step one foot back to as longer pace as you feel comfortable in, the back heel should easily be able to come to the ground and the front knee will bend now. Try keeping the hip distance width between the feet and think about the outside edges of the feet staying parallel. The base may seem broad and slightly shorter than usual in order to keep the back heel down, the broadness will lend a stability which may bring some more freedom into the exploration of the pose.

I find it helpful to glance down at the back foot and spin the heel out if i find (which i often do) that the back foot is not parallel the the edge of the mat. Have a look at the front knee, it will make for a happier long term practice if the knee follows the line of the second and third toes, or even the third and forth toes for some of us. Imagine the hip, knee, ankle and middle toes were on a train track. Another thing to observe is keeping the knee above the ankle, if yours tracks further forwards you may need to lengthen your stride slightly.

Feel how the hips square to the wall in front of you and then lean the weight of the upper body forwards ever so slightly, as if you were making a long line from base of the back of the head to the back heel bone. Can you imagine that you are pouring the weight of the head down the spine, along the back leg and out through the back heel, like a cascade of water.

Maybe it feels good to raise the arms, drifting them soft and wide into the air above you and slightly forwards of your face. I like to turn my palms to face each other and shrug my shoulders away from the ears, this helps me find space and ease in the shoulders. I imagine it like taking an old fashioned landline phone off the hook, for those of you who remember that!

You might enjoy the grounding as the weight cascades from the upper body down the spine and out through the back heel.
We could also add a direction to the back heel bone, rolling this large round (ish) heel bone back and down into the ground behind you. The bone rolling back and away deeply into the ground.Back and down and away. You might find that the spine receives a ripple that feels opening through the joints and discs. Perhaps the upper body unravels into a more upright position as it in turn receives the opening beginnings of the back-bend here. Perhaps there are other sensations, other observations that draw you deeper into the practice.

When you decide to step the feet parallel take some time to feel the difference between the two sides of the body and effects that you may notice. Then explore the other side.
Thanks for reading, I hope its sowed some seeds.

Frankie Walker is a yoga teacher of more than a decade and a specialised breath work (pranayama) teacher of 8 years. She has trained in and practised Scaravelli inspired yoga for 10 years. Frankie is currently training in Somatic Movement enquiries, furthering her studies of living, breathing, changing anatomy and advita vedanta philosophy.

You can find Frankie teaching at The Well Garden on Mondays 5.15-6.15pm Scaravelli Yoga and 6.30-7.45pm Vinyasa Flow

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