Become a Yoga Warrior with Virabhadrasana

Virabhadrasana  (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)

Vira = Hero; Bhadra = Auspicious; Asana = Body Pose

Virabhadra = the name of a fierce warrior created by Shiva. Virabhadra had a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs.

Warrior Poses are not meant to honor violence.  Warrior Poses bring strength and power into our lives.  We learn to battle ignorance and ego.  We learn to fight for truth and justice.

Some Warrior Pose benefits include:  strengthening lower back and body, opens the chest, neck and shoulders, increases endurance and core strength, helps with balance and concentration.

There are three main Warrior Poses and several other variations.

Virabhadrasana I, II, III (Warrior I, II, III)

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I) Right leg forward; Take a wide stance, Right Toes forward, Left foot turned in slightly.  Either line up your front heel and back heel, or line up your front heel with the instep of your back foot.  Hips and torso are turned forward; sink into the front leg, bending the front knee over the front ankle.  Adjust your stance so that you knee and ankle remain in alignment. Then, Choose your hand position.  Hands can be in prayer and heart’s center, the arms can be raised over head, perhaps you would like to interlace your fingers with the index fingers pointing up.  Drishti (eye gaze) is up at your extended fingers. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) also known as Proud Warrior: Legs are in same position as in Virabhadrasana I (Right leg forward).  Avoid allowing the right knee to turn in. Then, turn torso to the Left.  Arms are extended out straight out to the sides at shoulder height, arms parallel to floor. Drishti (eye gaze) is out over the fingers of your front hand.  (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III): Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).  Take a step forward with your Right leg.  Raise arms next to your ears as you transfer your weight into your Right leg.  Lift your left leg off the mat, and slowly hinge forward from the hips.  Your raised leg, torso and arms should be parallel to the floor. (Arms can also be back at sides like airplane wings).  Drishti (eye gaze) is out over your front fingers. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Ok, now that you have the basic warrior poses down, lets add some variations.

Asana Variations for Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I):

Peaceful Warrior: Legs and torso are in Warrior I.  With the Right leg forward in Warrior I, Left hand comes to the Left Thigh, the Right hand and arm rise above the head from the shoulder.  The Right hand faces backwards.  The heart and chest are open. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Humble Warrior: Legs and torso are in Warrior I.  With the right leg forward, bring both hands behind the back, and interlace the fingers.  Add a little mini backbend opening the chest.  Drishti is up where a ceiling a wall would normally meet. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Humble Warrior Forward Fold: Begin with Humble Warrior, then hinge forward at the hips bringing the forehead close to the mat, raise interlocked hands and arms into the air. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Open Hearted Warrior: Begin with legs and torso in Warrior I.  With the right leg forward and both arms overhead, begin to lean back opening your chest and bring your arms into a wide ‘v.’ Drishti is up and shoulders are relaxed. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Twisted Warrior: Begin with legs and torso in Warrior I.  With the right leg forward bring your right arm under the left arm, then either bring the back of your arms together or twist the right arm around the left (Eagle Arms).  Drishti is up.  (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Twisted Warrior Forward Fold: Begin in twisted Warrior, then hinge forward at the hips bringing your elbows to the outside of the right knee. Arms are parallel to the mat.  (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Asana Variations for Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II):

Archer Pose Warrior: Begin with legs and torso in Warrior I.  With the right leg forward, bring both arms up to shoulder height, parallel to the floor, and over the bend right leg.  Slowly begin to pull the left arm back (as if pulling an arrow back on a bow).  As your left arm pulls across the chest, open the left shoulder and hip into a Warrior II position.  Left elbow remains bent and the forearm is parallel to the floor.  Drishti is out over the right arm. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Dancing Warrior (Revolved or Reverse Warrior): Begin in Warrior II pose.  With the right leg forward, drop the left hand to the left leg and sweep the right arm up into the air.  The right fingers can be pointed up, or you can add a little side stretch by bending side torso towards the back leg and bringing the right forearm nest to the ear.  Drishti is up to the right fingers. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Asana Variations for Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III):

Twisted Warrior III: Begin in Warrior III pose.  Balancing on the right leg, bring the right arm under the left arm in eagle arms.  Arms remain parallel to the floor.  Drishti is to the floor. (Repeat with the Left leg forward)

Are there any Warrior Variations I forgot?  Please let me know.
Need some help with some of the Sanskrit Terms?  CLICK HERE

See more POSE FOCUS posts HERE.

Coming soon Trikonasanas.

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6 Responses to “Become a Yoga Warrior with Virabhadrasana”

  1. Welcome to Winter! The Winter Solstice « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] in Warrior 1 Then open torso and arms into Archer Pose Warrior: Begin with legs and torso in Warrior I.  With […]

  2. Heart Chakra Opening Yoga Practice 1 « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] B to Down Dog *Right Leg forward in a lunge Peaceful Warrior Warrior II Reverse Warrior Warrior I (View Warrior Poses HERE) Half Moon Balance (Modification:  Hold Left Foot with Left Hand) Warrior II Down Dog Repeat from * […]

  3. Arbor Day is here again, Let’s try some Tree Pose Variations… « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] Tree Tumbling tree is basically Warrior III with a chest Expansion From Tadasana, take a step forward with your left leg Come onto your Right […]

  4. A Prayerful Yoga Practice & the Anjali Mudra « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog Says:

    […] right leg forward in Warrior I hands in Anjali […]

  5. Shiva Eye Says:

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    […]Become a Yoga Warrior with Virabhadrasana « 2nd Star To The Right Yoga Blog[…]…

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