AnatomyArms, Legs, Shoulders
Pose TypeHeart Opener, Standing
Virabhadrasana I (VEER-ah-bha-DRAS-anna one) Virabhadra = a powerful warrior who arose from Shiva's matted locks
- Strengthens arms, legs, shoulders, and back
- Stretches hamstrings, calves, ankles, and shoulders
- Encourages deep breathing
- Improves balance and focus
- Creates sense of strength and confidence
- Leg, knee, hip, or shoulder injuries
- Weak heart or weak constitution
- High blood pressure
- Begin standing in Tadasana (Mountain pose). Step your left foot about 3 1/2 feet back. Turn your left foot 45 degrees to the left.
- Shift your hips so they are both facing the front of your mat. Press evenly through the center of your front heel and the outer edge of your back foot.
- Inhale and reach your arms toward the sky with palms facing each other. Reach through your fingertips and draw the shoulders down.
- Exhale and bend your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure that your right knee is not beyond your right toes.
- Engage your abdomen and draw your tailbone down, toward the pelvis. Keep pressing through the outer edge of the left foot and lift your ribcage away from the hips.
- Stay in Warrior I pose for several breaths. Inhale and straighten your right leg; then exhale and release your arms, stepping your feet together. Change sides.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Depending on your height, you may need to step your feet wider or closer together.
- To lessen the stretch in the shoulders, bend your elbows to the sides and bring the upper arms parallel to the ground in Cactus pose.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
- Align the front knee over the ankle.
- Anchor the outer edge of the back foot to the ground.
- Draw the shoulders down.
- Tuck the tailbone under.
- Touch the palms overhead.
- Gaze up toward the hands.
- Gently arch the spine backward.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Front knee beyond the ankle or splaying to either side
- Outer edge of the back foot lifted from the floor
- Overarching the low back
- Shoulders hunched