DAVIN JONES IS THE MAN ON THE MAT
Flying Warrior Pose (Visvamitrasana)
Visvamitra is a yogic sage who is known for his yogic power of compassion. ‘Visva’ means ‘the world’ and ‘Mitra’ means ‘a friend’ – a friend to the world. This posture is a strong dualistic balance between strength and flexibility. With one of these areas not playing their part, balance won’t feel harmonious.
In visvamitrasana, the legs are stretched apart in the frontal plane (warrior 2 family of poses). The front leg is placed on the outer edge of the supported arm, this outstretched leg is held in place by the opposing hand.
This powerful pose is a strong hip opener, a deep side body stretch as well as there being an interplay between a balancing pose and a twist.
Attempt this asana when there has been sufficient focus on the mobility of the hips, the shoulders and the mobility of the spine. This posture accesses end range positions of both the hip and shoulder joints. Including strength-based drills at end range through the hip and the shoulder is going to be a prerequisite in mitigating injury.
When sequencing this posture, I’ll be diligent in preparing the hips for abduction, flexion and external rotation; the spine for rotation, and the shoulders for flexion and external rotation.
Common mistakes quite often seen:
- Practitioners not having a fixed point of focus.
- Not feeling stable through the foundation of the rear foot and the supported hand/arm.
Postures to use prior: Warrior 2, Prasarita Padottanasana, Bound Side-Angle Pose, Bird of Paradise, Parighasana variations, Side Plank variations, Lizard Pose, Charging Tiger.
- Stay strong and grounded through the rear foot. Aim to press the outer edge of the foot into the mat.
- Stay strong and grounded through the supporting arm. External rotation through the shoulder joint and depression of the shoulder blade I find provides strong support for the pose.
- Practice active range of motion (ROM) through the shoulders and hips.
- Keep the outstretched leg straight and quadriceps in concentric contraction.
- Play a game of pull and push between the top arm and the holding of the foot.
The interplay between strength and flexibility is a fine line in this pose. Using only your strength to pull your body into this shape will lead to exertion, and overstraining. Integrate your active flexibility to find the shape, and use your strength and endurance to remain stable and poised in the pose.
Davin Jones leads workshops, retreats and yoga teacher trainings globally. His passion for sharing yoga comes from the direction and guidance he received from a consistent yoga practice. He wishes to share his love and teaching of yoga to practitioners of all levels. His hope is to see practitioners receive the same benefits and direction in life that he has received through the practice of yoga. Visit: davjonesyoga.com or connect via Instagram: @davjonesyoga