Today’s pose for Baptiste Yoga Every Damn Day is Warrior I.
The most common problem here is that people want to get very deep into a lunge or fit into a certain stance that can cause stress on the hips. The front foot is pointing at 12 o’clock, and the back foot can be anywhere from 9 to 11 o’clock. Many instructors will teach that the arch of the back foot should be aligned with the front heel, but a wider stance may be better for some students. Warrior 1 used to give me some tension in my sacrum area until one day a teacher suggested taking my feet wider, and it was like a gift from the heavens. No more hip pain, and no more back tension. If you struggle from low back or sacral pain, for the love of all that is holy, just try stepping the back foot out towards the edge of the mat a few inches. It will make a very big difference. Your hips will be square to the front while the back foot is fully on the mat, and if you are having trouble making this happen, then you must change your stance (angle of the back foot, feet wider apart, or taking a shorter stance).
In Warrior 1, people try to fit into a mold. People want to know “how it is supposed to look like,” and will painfully torque various joints to fit into some ideal if only to say, “I can do that.” We can explain it away and say, “Oh, I just want to do it properly, or I want to learn the right way.” In reality, it’s just a veneer of eagerness to disguise the ego. I don’t like saying, “Here is the proper way,” because there are many, many ways to do things. I do know that the best way to do anything is one that doesn’t cause harm to the self. It’s important to look at the reason why we do poses in one way over the other. Do you really want to do it right? Or do you just want to look “good” at the expense of your own body?