Virabhadrasana or the warrior pose is a series of yoga poses each having its distinctive benefit. In Sanskrit, Vira means brave, Bhadra means friend and Asana means a Pose. Virabhadrasana is named after the legendary warrior Virabhadra in Puranas. In the Puranic lore, it is said that Virabhadra was created by Lord Shiva from his hair, to destroy the arrogance of Daksha who refused to invite his daughter Sati while conducting a Yagna.
Virabhadrasana has many variations and is good for strengthening the shoulders, chest and legs. It improves balance and relaxes the shoulder muscles. Virabhadrasana should be avoided if you have any knee, hip or ankle injury.
VIRABHADRASANA – I
How to do Virabhadrasana – I (Warrior Pose)?
- Stand straight with the legs spread out. Let there be distance of at least 3 feet between the two feet.
- Raise the hands above the head and the palms facing each other.
- Turn to the left and slowly rotate the left foot about 90 degrees to the left so that it is aligned with the chest.
- Turn the right foot slightly (around 15 degrees) towards the inside.
- Bend the left knee till the thighs are parallel to the ground. The right leg should remain straight.
- The head, the chest, the left knee and the left foot should be aligned in one direction. Now you may bring the palms closer so that they touch each other.
- Retain this position for few breaths, which should be slow and deep.
- To release the pose, raise yourself up and straighten the left knee. Turn to the right to go back to the original position.
- Repeat this on the other side too. This is done by bending the right knee and turning to the right side and aligning the head, chest, knee and foot to the right.
VIRABHADRASANA – II
How to do Virabhadrasana – II (Warrior Pose)?
- Assume the Virabhadrasana – I position. After releasing the pose, come back to the standing pose.
- Turn the right foot 90 degrees to the front. The left foot is facing sideways as in Virabhadrasana – I.
- Stretch both hands and place then parallel to the ground, aligning them along the shoulders.
- The head, chest, left knee and foot should face the left direction. Gaze forward along the direction of the left foot.
- Take slow deep breaths and remain in this position as long as you are comfortable.
- After releasing the pose, the same can be tried on the right side.
VIRABHADRASANA – III
How to do Virabhadrasana – III (Warrior Pose)?
- Assume Virabhadrasana – I position.
- In this position, you are gazing to the left with the head, chest, knee and left foot aligned together.
- Next we are going to try a balancing pose. Slowly bend forward and lower the hands and bring them parallel to the ground.
- Now slowly raise the right leg above the ground. Make it parallel to the ground.
- Maintain this final pose for as long as you are comfortable. In the final pose, the entire weight of the body is supported by the left foot. The entire balance too is on the left leg. This is a balancing pose and requires a little practice.
- To release the pose, slowly bring down the right foot to touch the ground. Make the left knee straight, turn to the front and bring the hands back down to the starting position.
Benefits of Virabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
- Virabhadrasana gives a good stretch to the leg muscles.
- It is good for the organs in the abdomen.
- It can improve flexibility of the back muscles.
- It improves the nervous balance of the body.
- It can relieve stress in the shoulders.