What is it?
Virabhadrasana 1 is a yang pose found in many classical vinyasa, Hatha and in the Ashtanga styles of yoga. It is named in honour of a warrior from a Hindu mythology and while we are no way worshipping this image we are embodying the characteristics he displays.
How to approach this pose?
- Begin standing at the top of your mat in Tadasana (mountain pose,) take a step of about 1 metre back with the right leg.
- Hips remain square to the front of the mat and right foot is flat on the floor at a 45º angle.
- Bend into the left knee, allowing space so that you can still look down and see the left toes.
- Press the outer edge of the right foot towards the back of the mat. Almost as if you are trying to pull the mat apart with your feet.
- On an inhale, raise the arms up above the head, palms pressing together.
- Feel the upward full of the arms lifting the torso and the legs grounding your energy down to earth.
- Gaze is towards the thumbs.
- Remain for 5 breaths and then return to Tadasana and repeat on the opposite side.
- Tight shoulders? Then place the hands on the hips and look forwards. Alternatively, you could try cactus arms which will help open the shoulders and upper back, preparing for lifting the arms above the head.
- If gazing up to the thumbs doesn’t work for you, then keep your gaze forwards.
No props necessary for this standing pose
- Strengthens and stretches the legs, the front of hips and the shins.
- Builds stamina in the arms.
- Improves coordination and balance.
- Supports development of focus and concentration.
Try dropping the back knee to the ground for a lunge version of Warrior 1. Everything else remains the same, but this would be helpful if balance is an issue.