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Virabhadrasana I
(Warrior I Pose)

How to perform Warrior I Pose

Angle your back foot outward slightly and straighten your back leg. Lift from your navel up, bring your arms up, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Make sure your front knee and toes are aligned and pointing straight forward.

What is Virabhadrasana 1?

Warrior 1 is named after the legendary warrior Virabhadra. It develops strength, endurance, and focus. It also keeps the hips and knees flexible and is good for toning the thighs and glutes, as well as for mildly stretching the hamstrings. The muscles of the arms, shoulders, and upper body are also toned by the dynamic holding and lengthening of the arms up over the head.

Your front thigh is positioned parallel to the floor, resisting gravity. Your knee, ankle, and toes are all pointed forwards, and your hips are aligned. Your back curves back very slightly, allowing for extra opening in the chest, which increases oxygen supply to the vital organs and brain, making this pose extremely energising.

When to use Virabhadrasana 1?

This essential standing pose is useful in many sequences. Like all standing postures, it will create grounding and opening early on in a practice. This is a good pose to include in a general standing pose sequence. Focusing on maintaining a straight line in your upper body, while remaining solidly grounded in the two feet, creates a sense of focus, strength, and awareness.

One challenge in this pose is to maintain awareness of the “other side” of the body. Students may find they need to give extra attention to this “unseen” side and keep the leg long and strong, growing in a straight line out through the ankle and into the hip. Do not allow the bodyweight to collapse or fall, keep yourself upright. Pay special attention to your front leg, as it will have a tendency to sink inward if you are new to this pose. Maintaining this pose in its correct representation will allow you to strengthen your foundations for more complicated standing poses and improve your overall resilience and sense of fundamental balance.

Video sequences that include this pose