Yoga Posture: Virabhadrasana I

Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga > Yoga > Yoga Posture: Virabhadrasana I

Virabhadrasana 1 or (Warrior 1) has not only great physical benefits, it as well has symbolic meaning attached within this asana. This posture is named after Virabhadra who was a powerful mythological warrior that showed great virility and courage. This posture physically increases the strength within the muscle of the legs specifically in the quadriceps muscles and tones the shoulders. It creates stability in the hips and the knees joints. The asana increases flexibility in the spine and deep in the hips. Bringing together both physical strength and mental focus.
The most common way to enter Warrior 1 is from Downward-Facing Dog. On the in breath take a big step forward to the top of your mat stacking the ankle right over the knee joint. Back foot is anchored 45 degrees and you have a heal to heal alignment. The hips begin to square to the front of your mat. Arms rise to the sky at shoulder width apart or together with palms pressed together. Continue lunging into the front bent knee, bring it as parallel to the earth as possible, making sure the knee joint dose not go over the ankle. Breathing deeply into the hips and legs. Pressing through the outer edge of your back foot, keeping the energy balanced, feeling a firm connection to the mat with your feet by spreading the toes wide. On each inhalation lift your chest, feeling light and grounded. On the exhalation the shoulders continue to melt away from your ears, as the arms, finger tips stay active and extend to the sky and lunging a little bit deep into your front leg. Hold for 3-5 breaths. On the final exhale, hinge at the hips and bring your palms to the earth, step or lightly jump back into plank and flow into another posture (a vinyasa). Repeat on the other side of the body.

Modifications: if there is restrictions in the hips, step your back foot more to the edge of the mat.

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