Tilt your head to the side. What does this resemble? 
Focus on the elevated leg.

Looking at things from a range of perspectives fuels empathy, compassion and provides a 360 degree sweep of information. It’s a huge milestone from childhood to adulthood, when we harness the ability to think from the perspective of someone else.

It’s also a huge milestone in using your yoga practice to inform your off mat movements.

To “see” the link requires you tilt your head to the side. To look from the perspective of the ground, the sky, the left or right side. To half close your eyes and see beyond the posture name and the wrapping of skin to observe the position of the bones and muscles.

In considering how to explain this ability to “see” I realised most of us practice it everyday, but in a slightly different context. Authors, movie-makers, artists, directors and producers rely on us having this ability to ‘see’.

Whether via a book, screen or canvas storytellers take a moment of humour or frustration, something we collectively experience and amplify it to the point where the message is glaringly obvious.

The Handmaid’s Tale, book and movie is an example. The storylines are insane, ghastly to watch at times. The definition of family and love are borderline illegal. There’s torture of every kind. Judgement and public shaming are the cornerstones of civilisation.

If you dial back the exaggeration, you’ll arrive at issues very much apart of everyday life. The nuances of parenting, marriage and divorce. Equality issues in domestic, occupational and financial arenas. The management of global cultural differences – how do we reconcile the behaviour of one culture when it goes against the majority of other cultures?

Warrior III is an exaggerated version of walking.

If you dial Warrior back, you’ll arrive at the same mechanics as walking. This means walking can help you with Warrior and Warrior can help you understand walking.  It also means if you find Warrior difficult, the difficulty likely spills over into how you walk.

One of the main muscles recruited is the gluteus maximus. During Warrior there’s an intensity in the glute. If the glute doesn’t engage or work hard enough, another body part will be needed to elevate the leg. In most instances this other part is the low back. If you dial back Warrior to arrive at walking, the glute still activates but not nearly as much. If the glute doesn’t engage during walking, the low back will become involved.

  • If you have low back issues, is there an issue with the glutes during walking?
  • Spend a little bit of time focussing on the glutes while walking. As you take a step forward you should feel the glute muscle of the back leg engage. Spend some time each day intensifying this. Each time you step forward squeeze the glute of the back leg.
  • Think about how this action, when exaggerated, transitions into Warrior.