From Warrior II, as you inhale, slide your back arm down the back leg and bring the front arm up overhead. Turn your gaze up towards your fingertips and feel a nice stretch in your front side body. Stay here for 3 breaths. Your lower body should not have changed at all –i.e. – front knee bent directly over ankle, both legs active and engaged with weight distributed evenly between them.
From Warrior I, inhale and straighten both legs. As you exhale, turn your upper body and open your hips to the side (not straight forward over your front leg anymore). Bring your arms down from overhead to shoulder height so they form a line, and bend your front knee directly over your ankle or slightly behind. As in Warrior I, keep your shoulders over your hips and keep the weight distributed evenly between your feet. Turn your gaze to look forward over your front knee. Stay here for 3-5 breaths.
Begin from a standing position. Step your foot back a full stride (approximately 3.5 to 4 feet, or however far is comfortable for you) and turn the foot out to about a 45 degree angle while really pressing the outer edge of your foot into your mat. One major point about Warrior I is keeping your hips square to the front. It’s easy to let your hips open towards the back leg, especially after angling the back foot, so really focus on keeping them square over the front leg. If keeping your hips square to the front is difficult with your foot at a 45 degree angle, adjust the angle of your foot forward until your hips can stay square comfortably. You should feel your weight distributed evenly between both of your feet, i.e. – one leg should not be bearing more weight than the other. As you inhale, bring your arms up overhead with palms facing each other and as you exhale, bend the front knee until it is directly over the ankle or slightly behind. An important checkpoint here is that you can see your toes below your knee. If you can’t see your toes, your knee is most likely bent over your ankle, which can add unwanted stress to the knee joint and possibly injury. Make sure to keep your shoulders down away from your ears and keep your gaze straight forward, or look up towards your hands for more of a challenge. Your upper body should be tall and straight with your shoulders over your hips (no leaning forwards or backwards!). Stay here for 3-5 breaths.
Begin standing. Shift your weight to one leg and lift the other off the ground as you raise your arms overhead. On your exhale, begin to tilt your upper body forward while extending your lifted leg straight back. Keep your hips square (don’t let the hip on the lifted leg open towards the ceiling!) and really reach through your arm and extended leg. Focusing on a single point is key for balance. Stay for a few breaths and repeat with the other leg.