Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) steps, precautions and benefits

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Lord Shiva is believed to be the creator of Yoga. The name Virabhadrasana is inspired by one of Shiva’s creation Virabhadra. 

Virabhadrasana is one of the most strenuous standing yoga pose. It requires a lot of strength, flexibility and balance.Warrior pose prepares the practitioner for standing forward bends. It strengthens and energizes the whole body and improves concentration.

The Sanskrit name Virabhadrasana is derived from 3 words.

Vira = Courageous or brave

Bhadra = Blessed or Fortunate

Asana = PostureVirabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) steps, precautions & benefits

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How to practice Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

Starting Position: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Virabhadrasana 1

  1. Take a deep breath and step your legs 4-5 feet apart.
  2. Raise your arms upwards to join both the palms right over your head.
  3. Exhale and turn the right foot outwards 90 degree to the right.
  4. Slightly turn the left foot inwards 45-60 degree to the right.
  5. The right heel must be aligned with the arch of the left heel.
  6. Rotate the torso to the right keeping the arms straight.
  7. Exhale and bend the right knee until the right thigh becomes parallel to the floor.
  8. Keep the right shin perpendicular to the floor.
  9. This alignment will form a 90-degree angle between your right thigh and right shin.
  10. The bent knee must not extend beyond the ankle. It must be aligned right over the heel.
  11. Left leg must remain stretched out and tighten at the knee throughout the practice.
  12. Move your face in the upward direction and look at the joined palms. 
  13. Retain the final position from a few seconds to half a minute.Take long and deep breaths.
  14. To release the posture reverse the movements one by one in the same manner.
  15. Repeat the steps on the left side for the same duration as right.
Virabhadrasana 2

In this variation, the position of arms, head and torso is different from the above variation.

  1. Arms: Keep the arms in line with your shoulders and parallel to the floor. Stretch the arms outwards during the practice.
  2. Head: keep the head to the right and look straight right over the right arm.
  3. Torso: Keep the torso erect and straight in this variation.

Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose) steps, precautions & benefits

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Precautions for Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

  • If you suffer from spinal ailments avoid practicing warrior pose.
  • Virabhadrasana is an arduous pose. Avoid holding it for too long as that can easily lead to strain or injury.
  • Keep the head in neutral position (in warrior 1) if you are experiencing neck pain.
  • Avoid practicing Virabhadrasana if you suffer from any of this condition: heart problems, severe neck or shoulder pain, knee pain, high blood pressure or chronic illness.

Benefits of Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)

  1. Expansion of chest and lungs (in warrior 1) develops deep breathing.
  2. Beneficial for pregnant women during 2nd and 3rd trimester.
  3. Relieves stiffness in the neck, shoulders and back.
  4. Reduce excess fat from hips.
  5. Useful for people suffering from sciatica.
  6. Enhances blood circulation in the body.
  7. Tones and strengthens knees, thighs and ankles.
  8. Stimulates abdominal organs and aids digestion.
  9. Builds stamina and develops a sense of balance and coordination. 

Traditionally there are 3 variations of Virabhadrasana. Out of which we have elaborated only two today. For Variation 3 you can find a separate article on our website.

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