A few years ago, I was lucky enough to attend a weekend workshop in Aberystwyth, with Peter Blackaby. As well as being an inspiring yoga teacher, Peter is also an osteopath, so his knowledge of anatomy is very great.
He remarked that Warrior I, performed in the classic way, put a lot of people in his osteopath’s surgery, and that as yoga teachers, our first duty is not to hurt anybody.
Since that workshop, I have only ever practiced and taught Warrior I the Peter Blackaby way. (At the time, his book ‘Intelligent Yoga’ had not been published, but now I refer you to page 91 of that book*). The most important thing is to keep the feet parallel, thus avoiding any unwanted rotation in the knee. Keeping the feet parallel facilitates keeping the hips level which prevents any nasty pinching in the lumbar spine and instead, enables the back bend to work the thoracic spine.
Performed in this way, I find Warrior I to be a lovely posture and it seemed to me to embody the qualities of perseverance/living with intent that I want to express in this class. Whatever is ahead of us, we stand rooted in the present moment and set our intention to face up to it.
*Intelligent Yoga, re-educating mind and body, by Peter Blackaby, Outhouse Publishing 2012