Virabhadrasana (warrior pose)
Virabhadasana (or Veerabhadrasana or warrior pose) is a standing asana named after Lord “Virabhadra
“. This pose is useful in building stamina and in keeping our lungs healthy.
How to do Virabhadrasana (warrior pose)?
Steps to do Warrior pose
How to Breathe when doing Virabhadrasana:
- Starting from a standing position, inhale and spread the legs sideways, creating a gap of around 3 feet.
- Raise the arms parallel to the floor, and stretch them actively out to the sides, keeping the chest open and the palms facing downward.
- Turn the right foot slightly in to the right, and the left foot out to a 90°angle, and align the left heel with the arch of the right foot. Turn the left thigh outward so that the centre of the left knee cap is in line with the centre of the left ankle. Open the hips.
- Exhale and bend the left knee over the left ankle so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. Lower your weight as strength and flexibility permit, and if possible, bring the left thigh parallel to the floor. Strengthen the right leg by pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor – this helps take the weight off the front knee. Avoid extending the bent knee past the ankle.
- Stretch the arms away from body, so that they are parallel to the floor. Keep the arms and forearms in line with the shoulders. Don’t lean the torso over the left thigh – keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis.
- Turn the head to the left and look out over the middle finger.
- The head, chest, left knee and left foot should be aligned facing forward.
- Keep the feet as flat as possible, being careful not to raise the outside edge of the back foot.
- Stay in the pose and breathe for as long as you are able to hold it. Then inhale and straighten the bent leg to come up.
- Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time on the left side.
Awareness while doin Virabhadrasana:
- Inhale as you spread the legs apart.
- Exhale as you bend the knee.
- Breathe normally while retaining the pose.
- Inhale as you straighten the bent leg.
- Physical: On the entire posture and awareness on the arms and shoulders.
- Spiritual: On Anahata
Precautions and Contra-indications in Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose)
Benefits of Virabhadrasana:
- High blood pressure.
- Cardiac conditions or heart palpitations.
- Neck problems – don’t turn the head to look over the front hand; continue to look straight ahead with both sides of the neck lengthened evenly.
- Those who are menstruating or pregnant should not hold this pose too long.
- Increases stamina.
- Tones the knees, leg muscles and buttocks.
- Increases flexibility of the legs and back, and strengthens the back at the same time.
- As the chest cavity is opened, it helps to keep the lungs healthy.
- Prepares the practitioner for advanced forward bends.
- Relieves backache, especially through the second trimester of pregnancy.
- Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis and sciatica.