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Yoga Postures

> Virabhadrasana 1

Common name: Warrior 1

Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana 1

English: Vira=hero; bhadra=friend; asana=pose

Level: Beginner  

Photo Credits:

Left: Andrew Wren               http://yogawithandrew.co.uk/  

Right: Denise Balioz http://www.denisebalyozyoga.com/

 
 

Instructions

  • Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose), feet hip distance apart. Create a firm foundation in the feet and engage the core. Draw the shoulder blades down the back and lengthen the spine from pelvis to the crown of the head. Gaze is forward, chin parallel to the floor.
  • On an exhale, step forward with the right leg, squaring the hips and keeping them level and facing forward. The back heel is down and the foot is facing generally forward, perhaps turned out 10 to 20 degrees. If grounding of the back heel is a problem, raise it on a small pad or folded blanket.
  • Bend the right knee making sure the knee does not overshoot the ankle. If this happens, either creep the front toes forward or reduce the bend in the right knee.
  • Draw the spine away from the pelvis and take the shoulder blades down the back. lengthening the sit bones to the back of the mat.
  • The arms can either be raised either side of the head, palms touching and reaching up or can be at shoulder height, elbows bent and hands facing in. In the first case the gaze is raised and the pose can be developed into a back bend. In the second, the gaze is straight ahead.
  • Maintain the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, using the breath to build a strong foundation from the back heel and drawing the spine up and the shoulders back and down, while the chest opens.
  • To come out of the pose, return the hands to the sides of the body and on an inhale step back to tadasana.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side.
  • Benefits

  • Stretches and strengthens the leg, back and shoulder muscles
  • Stretches and opens the chest
  • Helps to improve balance
  • Energises the whole body
  • Focusses the mind
  • Contraindications and Cautions

  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure
  • In the case of shoulder pain, keep the arms at shoulder height
  • In the case of neck pain keep the head in neutral
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