We had a nice group at the store yesterday. A few regulars, a few new people. And the eats were great; I got my fave, the half-and-half (grilled cheese and soup), and tried the Black Angus stew.
I decided to teach the various Warrior poses: Virabhasdrasana I, II, and III. They are good for creating a little heat, and getting the blood moving. As I explained how they flow together (II into I into III), I made a joke about how the numbering system was off. This later got me to thinking: why are these poses tied together, anyway?
When you look at them, they don't really have all that much in common. The feet are in different positions, the hips and shoulders line up differently, the work of the legs is completely different, and one is a tricky balance pose, while the other two used firmly-planted feet. Not at all like Trikonasana-Parsvakonasana-Ardha Chandrasana (Triangle-Lateral Angle-Half Moon).
I think it's the arms. Altho they don't look exactly alike, they are all at shoulder-height or higher (thus raising the heart rate) and require shoulder flexibility to stretch the arms out and overhead without hunching. The chest should be open and the shoulder blades slightly drawn together and down. The thighs and belly do all the grunt work of lunging, bending and keeping the side body long, but the arms are what make them Warriors--rather than Lateral Angle or Parsvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch) or a standing lunge.
When teaching them, we usually focus on the work of the lower body, but what really makes a Warrior look beautiful and effortless is if the arms and chest are in the correct position. Then they look calm and powerful.
But that's just me...maybe somebody knows what the (not so) ancients were thinking when they named these poses. Any insight?