Warrior 1

Warrior 1

Warrior I is a strong pose and a standing backbend that can take several years to finesse. Sanskrit name: Virabhadrasana I (pronounced: veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna). Virabhadra is the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, and wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin.

Benefits
* Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)
* Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back
* Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles

Contraindications and cautions
* High blood pressure
* Heart problems
* Students with shoulder problems should keep their raised arms parallel (or slightly wider than parallel) to each other.
* Students with neck problems should keep their head in a neutral position and not look up at the hands.

Step by step

1. Stand in Tadasana. Exhale and step or lightly jump your feet wide apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor and parallel to each other and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling. Firm your scapulars against your back and draw them down toward the coccyx bone.

2. Turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the front edge of your mat. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel. Lengthen your coccyx toward the floor, and arch your upper torso back slightly.

3. With your left heel firmly anchored to the floor, exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle so the shin is perpendicular to the floor. The more flexible you are you can align your right thigh parallel to the floor.

4. Reach strongly through your arms, lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms. If possible, bring the palms together. Spread the palms against each other and reach a little higher through the pinky-sides of the hands. Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.

5. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. To come up, inhale press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them extended upward for more of a challenge. Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat for the same length. When you’re finished return to Tadasana.

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Corona Brady
Hatha Yoga

Corona's yoga journey began in her early 20's when she introduced herself to yoga for nothing more than curiosity and has been hooked ever since.

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