Yoga Poses: Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)


Virabhadrasana I or the Warrior I Pose is a pose which has been named after a fierce warrior, Virabhadra. He was created by Lord Shiva, a Hindu God, to destroy Priest Daksha’s yagna (a ritual sacrifice).It is a standing Yoga pose, that has combined benefits of an elongating stretch and a hip opener. Also, it improves standing balance and is considered a good pose for dancers.

Health Benefits

The pose strengthens the body and increases its stamina. It is extremely helpful to treat frozen shoulders by releasing stress piled up due to hours of inactivity. It also makes the leg muscles more stable while strengthening the back. It is  great to achieve curvy calves and hips.

Warrior one pose is known to improve blood circulation, provide relief in anxiety, stress and insomnia. With focus on vagus nerve, the pose improves digestion and other stomach problems by revitalizing the abdominal organs.

Getting Into the Pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Initial Position: Mountain Pose or Tadasana

Drishti or Gaze: At the palms

Steps

  1. After getting into the initial position, spread your right leg forward and left leg backward. Keep the feet 3 metres apart from each other. Now, slightly twist your left foot on the outside.
  2. Shift your weight on your right leg by bending the right knee at an angle of 90 degrees. Keep the left leg stretched out. Place both your hands on the right knee.
  3. Inhale deep on a count of 3 and simultaneously move raise your arms above and beyond your head. Let your gaze follow your arms.
  4. Maintain a steady balance and try to stretch back as much as you comfortably can. Notice a mild stretch in your arms, abdomen, groin, and back of left knee. Hold the pose for 15-30 seconds.
  5. Exhale on a count of 3 and revert slowly to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on other side too. This completes one cycle of Virabhadrasana I. Do it twice along with other poses.

Rest in Corpse pose if you feel exerted.

Other Variations

  • Clasped Arms version: Once the knee of the extended leg is in bent position, swing your arms around at the back of your torso and clasp them. Stretch away your hands from the back and raise your chest.

Preparatory Poses

Beginner’s Tips

  • Start with your lower body first. Focus on the placement of your feet and legs and then gradually work up.
  • Step out the right foot a bit further in order to create more space for your hips to square up.
  • When you bring your arms up, keep them shoulder’s distance apart, depending on your comfort.

Advanced Poses

Important Notes

  • People suffering from high BP and heart problems should not perform this asana.
  • Avoid this pose if you are suffering from Diarrhea.
  • Those with neck injuries should keep their neck in a neutral position and avoid looking up.

Further Reads: Yoga for stress relief

Last updated: June 29th, 2014
Next update on: Aug 29th, 2014

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