Too many athletes ignore yoga, thinking it's solely about flexibility and relaxation. This move, the warrior three squat, proves it's also a powerful tool for building strength. It's also a good move for travelers to remember, so they can stay fit on the road using just their body weight.
Demonstrated by Tamal Dodge, co-founder of Santa Monica's Yoga Collective and the yogi behind Element's "Hatha & Flow Yoga for Beginners" DVD, this move is challenging, for sure, but it's a challenge you can grow with, as your strength and balance improve.
What it does
This challenging pose tones your glutes and hamstrings and plays with your slow and fast-twitch muscles as your center of balance is thrown off.
What to do
Stand upright in mountain pose with arms at your sides and weight evenly distributed. Slowly shift forward, bringing your hands to prayer position in front of your heart. As your upper body moves forward, extend your right leg straight back, keeping your back flat and your body in a straight line. Keeping your hands at your chest, bend your left knee and lower into a squat, knees behind toes. Rise and straighten the bent leg. Repeat. If the balance challenge is too great, try the pose with both hands on the bent knee instead of in prayer position. Work to gain greater stability and range in the position.
Beginners start with 10 repetitions on each side. Work up to two sets of 10.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times