Warrior /Virabhadrasana

Warrior I/Virabhadrasana I

Warrior I/Virabhadrasana I

Warrior I Pose is a standing posture to ground and center the body, giving rise to emotional and mental balancing. It opens the hips, tones the legs, ankles and improves balance. Named after the mythic warrior Virabhadra, Warrior I promotes a feeling of inner strength and fearlessness, also translated as “auspicious hero”.

Begin in Mountain Pose at the back of your mat.. Turn your left foot out slightly and extend the right arm forward. Take a step to bring the right foot forward under the right hand (between 2-4 ft.). Return the right hand to the right hip and square your pelvis, feet should be hip width apart, right thigh should be rolling outwards and while lifting the inner right as you engage the leg fully.

Slowly track/bend the right knee towards the little toes but not beyond, knee should remain over the ankle and not in front of, shin perpendicular to the floor
Your left leg should be straight and the sole of your left foot should be firmly planted on the floor making sure your weight evenly distributes between both feet.

Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, squeezing the triceps and lengthening up through the fingertips, palms facing each other, fingers closed except for the thumbs, pointing towards the ceiling and drawing/releasing muscles down into the shoulder socket, relaxing the shoulders down away from your ears.
Make sure your head, shoulders, hips and knees all face forward, visualize the smooth line of your body from the heel of your back foot to the reach of your fingertips.
Point the crown of your head towards the ceiling and gaze straight ahead or up through the hands.
Hold the pose for 15-60 seconds or 6+ breaths.
Exhale as you come out of the pose lowering your arms to your sides. Repeat and switch sides.

Physical Benefits:
Strengthen the arches, ankles, knees, thighs through the torso to the arms. Stretches the hips(adduction)  and shoulders (flexion/deltoids), tones the inner thighs. Broadens the chest. Encourages stimulation of the lungs and heart. Increases muscular endurance. Improves balance. Relieves symptoms of sciatica and lower back pain due to the toning of the hip extensors (Hamstrings/Gluteus Maximus).
Mental Benefits:
Builds focus, develops willpower, stimulates the mind.
Counter Pose: Downward-Facing Dog/Adho Mukka Svanasana
Bringing hands together over head and creating a slight backbend as you gently arch your back and tilt the head to look up and back, do not drop the head back.
Various arm positions if shoulders are a consideration, keep them by the side and bent, partially open or on the hips.
If the lower back is uncomfortable, lean the torso slightly over the forward leg.
High blood pressure, neck injury.

Warrior I/Virabhadrasana I modified with chair

Warrior I/Virabhadrasana I – modified with chair

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