Virabhadrasana was named after a famous warrior from an ancient Indian mythology. The arms symbolize the swords which are powerfully stretched towards the sky. The purpose of this pose is to be strong and to overcome fear.

Prep Pose:

How to get in there:

Start in Mountains Pose. Have your feet slightly separated. Inhale and raise both arms towards the sky. Reach actively through the fingertips and draw your shoulder blades down and back.

Exhale and step your left foot back. Turn your feet about 60 degrees open. Keep the back leg straight, inhale and start bending your right knee. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor. Reach through your arms and lift the ribcage away from the pelvis. Ground down through the back foot while pointing down your left hip.

Bring your palms together and widen your shoulders. Arch your upper torso slightly back.

Keep your head in a neutral position, gaze forward or look up at your thumbs.

Stay for 30 seconds to a minute.

To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms while straightening the right knee. Step back into Tadasana and try the other side.

Modifications and Props:

Beginners find it very difficult to keep the back heel grounded and the lower back lengthened in this pose. So go and raise the back heel on a block.

Deepen the pose:

Bend the front knee more to move deeper.

Contraindications:

Students with shoulder issues should keep their raised arms open and slightly wider. Students with neck problems should keep their head in a neutral position instead of looking up

Benefits of the pose:

Stretches the chest (lungs), shoulders and neck as well the abdominal muscles and groins (M. psoas). Strengthens the shoulders and arms, the back muscles, thights, calves and ankles.

Follow up poses:

Virabhadrasana I is commonly used as the beginning pose of Virabhadrasana II + III.  It’s also an excellent preparation pose for all other standing poses as well backbends.

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