(Virabhadrasana I): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Intermediate

Warrior 1 Pose

(Virabhadrasana I)

 

Pigeon Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Mountain pose (Tadasana) at the top of mat. On an exhalation, step back with the left foot, hands come to hips. Right toes (front foot) pointed toward top of mat, left foot (back foot) toes turned out slightly to the left.

2

Lengthen left (back) thigh, engaging muscles and anchoring through heel. Bend right (front) knee, stacking knee over ankle.

3

Working to square hips directly forward and side to side. Low abs firm in and up, knitting front ribs, lengthening sides of the waist.

4

Shoulders stacked over hips, inhale arms up over head. Spread fingers, energizing hands and arms.

5

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

6

To come out of the pose, use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for second side.

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Level – Intermediate

Pose Prep & Practice

  1. Beginning in Mountain pose (Tadasana) at the top of mat.
  2. On an exhalation, step back with the left foot, hands come to hips.
  3. Right toes (front foot) pointed toward top of mat, left foot (back foot) toes turned out slightly to the left.
  4. Lengthen left (back) thigh, engaging muscles and anchoring through heel.
  5. Bend right (front) knee, stacking knee over ankle.
  6. Working to square hips directly forward and side to side. Low abs firm in and up, knitting front ribs, lengthening sides of waist.
  7. Shoulders stacked over hips, inhale arms up over head. Spread fingers, energizing hands and arms.
  8. Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.
  9. To come out of the pose, use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Shorten or widen stance
  • Front knee behind ankle instead of stacked
  • Goalpost arms or hands on hips (arm or shoulder injury)
  • Alana (High Lunge) if heel cannot stay on floor
  • Practice with back heel at wall (balance issues)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Improves core strength and balance
  • Strengthens back muscles, arms and shoulders
  • Develops concentration and grounding
  • Stretches hip flexors, calves and achilles tendons
  • Strengthens muscles of the ankle, knee and hip

Contraindications

  • Hip or Knee Injuries (Flexion)
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)
  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Injured Calf or Achilles Tendon

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Inhale arms up, Exhale step right leg back to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), Pyramid (Parsvottanasana), Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) to Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III), Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) to Mountain (Tadasana). Repeat other side.

You might also like: 5 Tips For Building Creative (And Safe) Yoga Sequences

Leave a Comment!

comments