Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) is a foundational pose of yoga. It is built from our knowledge of mountain pose (week 1 lesson). Entering this pose we rise into it triumphantly. Holding a shape that is both strength and softness. The foundation our legs are like the mountain, our arms light as feathers with grace and strength.
This pose gives us all of the elements that we will need to build on our yoga practice, we work into our hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, core to lift us into the pose.
Warrior I challenges our mind, building strength in our body whilst opening us to inner peace, tranquility and a meditation practice as we find peace in our challenge.
Body Parts Effected: Entire Leg, groin, shoulders and arms, core
Preparatory poses: Mountain Pose
Pose type: Standing Pose
Also known as: Virabhadrasana I (Virabhadra = warrior, Asana = Pose)
1. Standing in Mountain pose step the right leg behind, this should be a fairly long stride, aligning the feet in a heel to heel alignment with the toes of the right foot point away from the body at a 45 degree angle. The feet should be generously separated.
2. Gently sink into the left leg bringing the thigh parallel to the ground. The Left knee should be centered over the left ankle tracking the knee towards the left edge of the foot to maintain alignment and provide stability in the pose.
3. Focusing on the back right leg, lift the arch of the right foot and engage the outer right leg. Lift the right knee cap. Gaze should be forward.
4. The left hip point will move back I space and the right hip point will come forward. The hips are in a closed position and will not square fully to the front of your mat.
5. Rotate the shoulders so that they do square.
6. Pull navel to your spine, drop the tailbone towards the mat.
7. Breathe deeply and allow the shoulders to fall away from the ears as the shoulder blades draw down your back.
8. Rotate onto back right ball of foot and step feet together at top of mat back in Mountain Pose.
Use of a Props and Modifications
1. Setting the back foot at the base of a wall can help with grounding of back foot.
2. For Balance using a wall to reach towards can be helpful.
3. Stepping the back foot to the side of the mat one foot distance will give a more square hip position and provide more stability.
4. Place hands on hips to release shoulder strain.
5. Positioning the chin level to the mat can provide less strain on the neck than looking up.
6. Dropping back knee onto mat is an option for this pose.
a. Always consult your medical professional prior to beginning any exercise program
b. Anyone with knee injury or recent knee surgery should less the bend in the front knee
c. High Blood Pressure or heart conditions. This pose can be modified to a version with the knee down and not placing hands above heart level.
d. Shoulder injuries, keep hands at hips or bring to Namaste at heart.