Yoga Poses

Warrior I Virabhadrasana I

Steps

Prepare for Warrior I by standing in Mountain Pose. From Mountain Pose, step the left foot back any amount and rotate the foot to a 50 to 70 degree angle. The toes of the right foot point to the front of the room. Align the heel of the right foot and the arch of the back foot. Bend the front knee to a 90 degree angle directly over the front ankle. Both hip bones should be squared to the front of the mat. From here, inhale the arms up, placing the biceps next to the ears, palms facing one another(Palms can touch at the top, if desired).Shoulders stay down and away from the ears as the fingers extend up to the sky. Stay here for several breaths and then repeat these steps on the other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Extend the torso up and out of the waist feeling a sense of steadiness and bravery.

Imagine the legs pressing out in opposite directions as the feet remain grounded. Internally rotate the back thigh so the hips remain squared to the front of the mat. If you look down at the front foot and knee, you should only be able to see the big toe “peeking out” from the side of the knee. The other toes are hidden underneath the knee.

Technical Comments

Keep the front knee bent directly over the front ankle and keep the ears, shoulders and hips stacked as you would in Mountain Pose.

Benefit Comments

  • Improves posture, alignment, and balance.
  • Strengthens legs, ankles, and groin area.
  • Boosts confidence.
  • Improves joint health.
  • Promotes flexibility of hips.

Watch Out For:

  • Do not let the shoulders crowd the ears.
  • Make sure the front knee does not go too far forward of the front ankle.
  • Keep both hips squared to the front of the mat

Contraindications

Use modified versions of Warrior I if you have:
  • Knee injuries.
  • Low back pain.
  • High blood pressure (Do not extend arms up next to the ears.)

Modifications

  • If aligning the front heel to the back arch is hard on the knees, align the heels instead.
  • If knee injuries, low back pain, or balance issues are present, widen and/or shorten the distance between the feet until the pose is more comfortable. Use the back of a folding chair or a wall for extra support.

Variations

  • Add a backbend.
  • “Active” Warrior: Add movement to the pose by bending and straightening the front leg and/or extending and lowering the arms slowly.
  • Clasp the fingers together behind you. Then, hinging at the hips, lower the torso to the thigh of the front leg or, bypass the thigh, and lower the torso to the inside of the front thigh.
  • Peaceful Warrior Pose

Yoga Counter Poses

Written By: Amber Kocian RYT

Amber encourages students to test their limits, but gently reminds them to listen to and respect their bodies as they are each day. She believes that a safe, consistent yoga practice has the power to help anyone in every aspect of their lives.

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