In traditional yoga school most are taught to set Warrior I up with the heels lining up. The front foot is facing forward and the back foot is turned to a 45 degree angle but both heels line up with each other. Not only that we are also taught to turn both hip bones or ASIS‘ to face forward. However, years of teaching have taught me several things about Warrior I.
First, I had to take into consideration that yoga was practiced by men only. Since men’s hips are more more narrow than a woman’s it makes sense to have the heels line up and therefore the hips would follow to face forward.
Second, women’s hips are not as narrow. This means that when we try to put the heels on the same line in can wreak havoc on balance and if your hips are tight you’d have to take a wrench to get them to both face forward. Fuugettaboutttit!
Third, every “body” is different. I suggest to anyone whose hips are tight or where the hip bones are more wide, to place the feel wider apart. So instead of having your heels line up with each other try putting the heels spaced apart as if you were on railroad tracks. This should give you ample room to turn the pelvis forward to the front foot in a very square manner. Now, with the feet wider and the hips able to turn you will find more space for the lower back to release thus giving your abdominal (core) muscles the space they need to contract, lengthen and support the lower back in this pose.
Being able to access your core muscles is key to a dynamic and invigorating practice. Once you are able to turn the core on in your postures you will find your shoulders, hips and neck release easily as the power of your core supports you. And a little more core support can translate into radical confidence both on and off your mat.