Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior pose 1)
Benefits: Relieves backache, lumbago and sciatica through strengthening the back muscles and toning the abdominal wall.
As with all exercise, you need to listen to your body, keep the back of the neck and spine lengthened and the rib cage lifted. Remember to breathe as you work with the different exercises.
Stand tall in Tadasana (mountain posture), with your back straight, shoulders back and arms by your side. Jump in the air, landing with your feet roughly 1.2m apart. Ensure that your feet are in line with one another and your toes are pointing forward. Raise your arms up to shoulder level so that they are parallel to the floor, locking your elbows. Press the outer edges of your feet against the floor.
Turn your arms so that your palms point towards the ceiling, before raising both arms above your head until they are perpendicular to the floor.
Rotate your torso and left leg to the left, turning your left foot. Taking care to rotate from the hip as well as the chest. Extend the rotation through the right leg, however ensure that your right foot remains pointing forward.
Bend your left knee so that your body forms two right angles, one at your left knee and the other in the hip. Take care not to overextend, your left knee should be in line with your ankle and your weight evenly distributed across both feet. Once balanced, lift upwards through the arms and torso, lengthening your spine towards the ceiling.
Breathe and hold the asana for 15-20 seconds, before gently bringing your arms down towards your side and straightening your left knee. Bring yourself back to Tadasana, before repeating the pose on the opposite side.