Learn Yoga with the Warrior I Pose

Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow

The Warrior I pose, also known as Virabhadra's Pose, is customarily known as the first of the three main warrior-style poses. The first Warrior pose helps to strengthen your legs, hips and chest and also allows you to stretch your arms and legs further the more you do the pose over a period of time. The pose also helps you to gain better concentration, balance and makes you more grounded. It helps you to improve your circulation and respiration, helping your entire body become more energized over a period of time.

The pose is thought to help the yogis and yoginis to battle with their ultimate universal enemy, self-ignorance, which is thought to be the source of our suffering as people. People often think that the name of the pose, Warrior, is strange, as people who practice yoga are known for their non-violent nature. However, the text that introduced this pose, the Bhagavad-Gita, was actually an extended dialogue between two famous warriors (Krishna and Arjuna) and the whole script is set on a battlefield where both sides really want to fight one another.

However, do not attempt this pose if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart defects. Yoga students who suffer from shoulder problems should only attempt this pose with their arms parallel to each other. Also, people suffering from neck issues should keep their heads neutral and not attempt to look up at the hands during the pose.

What you will need to get started:

  • The warrior pose can be performed anywhere, but if you are attempting it barefoot, then a yoga mat is highly recommended.
  • Stretchy yoga trousers.
  • A baggy shirt or vest that allows for maximum arm movement.

Warrior I step-by-step:

  1. 1
    Warm up. If you don't know how, reference our guide on how to warm up for yoga.
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  2. 2
    Start by entering the Mountain Pose and standing. As you breathe out, step out so your feet are around 3 to 4 feet apart.
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  3. 3
    Turn your left foot so it's at a 45- to 60-degree angle to the right and then do the same with the right foot; however, this time turn it 90 degrees to the right. Ensure both of your heels are aligned.
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  4. 4
    Raise your arms so they are perpendicular to the floor and ensure that they are parallel with each other. Pull your shoulder blades back and down towards your tailbone.
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  5. 5
    On your exhale, turn your chest to the right and attempt to square your pelvis as much as you can to the front line of your yoga mat. When your left hip points forward, press the top of your left femur backwards in order to ground your heel. Stretch your tailbone downwards towards the floor and create a slight arch with your upper back facing backwards.
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  6. 6
    When your left heel is firmly grounded, breathe out and bend your right knee so it is over your right ankle. This should make it so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If you are more flexible, then you should be able to line up the right thigh with the floor..
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  7. 7
    Reach through your arms and try to raise your ribcage away from the pelvis. You will become more grounded through your back foot and hopefully feel that there is a lift in your back leg that runs across your belly and chest to the arms. If you can, then try to bring your palms together; but this isn't essential. If you can't, then try spreading your palms against each other, trying to reach a little higher with the pinky fingers than the rest of the hand. Try to keep your head in as neutral a position as possible and look forward as much as you can. If you can't, then try to look at your thumbs if that is more comfortable.
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  8. 8
    Try to stay in the pose from around 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your skill level, but don't push yourself too much.
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  9. 9
    To return from this pose, breathe in and push your back heel into the floor. Reach upwards with your arms and straighten your right knee. Turn your feet so they both face forwards again and release your arms as you breathe out. If you want to challenge yourself, however, you can leave your arms raised as you exhale. After a few more breaths, turn your feet to the left and repeat the pose for the same length of time. Once you have finished on both sides, return to Mountain Pose.
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  10. 10
    Remember to properly cool down after yoga.
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Variations on this pose:

  • Anyone who is a beginner at yoga could find it difficult to ground the back heel on either foot properly as well as to keep the lower part of the back extended during the pose. If you would like a short-term solution to the problem, you might want to raise your rear leg on a sand bag or yoga block to create extra space and height.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut

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