Virabhadra Asana-the Warrior Pose

In Sanskrit ‘Virabhadra’ means warrior. Hence in English it is called as the ‘Warrior Pose.’ This pose is named after the mythic warrior-sage, Virabhadra.

How to practice?

  • Stand in mountain pose continuing with your normal breath.
  • Jump your feet side ways and sweep your arms out to the both the sides so your ankles are below your wrists.
  • Establish your foundation, by pulling your knees and thighs up, tucking your tailbone under, pushing your feet firmly into the floor.
  • Visualise an imaginary line running vertically down the centre of your body, dropping your shoulders.
  • Squeeze your arms and legs away from the centreline.
  • Keep an awareness of this line as you turn your right foot out to 90 degrees and turn your left foot in to 70 degrees.
  • Ensure the heel of your front foot aligns with arch of your back foot, hips facing forward.
  • If your body wants to turn off centre, counter-act it by pushing simultaneously in opposite directions from the centre line.
  • Inhale, an as you exhale bend your right leg, pulling up with the outside and inside of the thigh to form a right angle at the knee.
  • Only go as low as you can with out turning your hips off centre.
  • Ideally you want your knee directly above your ankle with you leg coming vertically out of the floor like pillar.
  • Keep the power flowing through the back leg into the floor.
  • Inhale, lift the spine; exhale, turn your head to look over your right arm. Take a few deep breaths through the nose.
  • Hold the pose and breathe smoothly.
  • Reverse the procedure back to mountain pose and repeat back to the other side.

Benefits of Virabhadra Asana-the Warrior Pose

  • It builds coordination, concentration, balance strength and stamina of the body.
  • It stretches legs, ankles, arms, knees joints, and spine.
  • It increases the capacity of the respiratory system.  This asana may help osteoporosis and relieve sciatic pain.
  • Groins, chest, lungs, hip joint, arch of the foot and shoulders are opened and strengthened.
  • Arthritis of the spine may be helped.
  • It builds shapes and tones the entire lower body and increases circulation in the lower limbs.
  • It tones up the nerves and nervous system.
  • It helps in digestion and may help relieve constipation.

Contraindications of Vrischika Asana

  • If you have knee problems, don’t do this pose or else take the supervision of a qualified teacher
  • Don’t do the pose if you have diarrhea, high blood pressure or a sprained or injured ankle.
  • If you have neck issues, look straight ahead and do not turn your head to the side.
  • Don’t do the pose if you have recent or chronic injury to the hips or shoulders, lower back problems.