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How to do Warrior Pose 1, Virabhadrasana 1

Yoga classes in Milton Keynes & Bletchley

Virabhadrasana I – Warrior Pose 1 strengthens our connection with the grounding energy of the earth. This variation has emphasis on establishing a firm and grounded foundation in the legs while fearlessly lifting and expanding the chest. As such it is great for integrating the upper and lower halves of the body.
1. Stand in Mountain pose. Inhale, step the feet wide apart and bring your hands to your hips. Turn the whole right leg and foot out at 90° so that the heal intersects the inner arch of left foot. Turn the left foot and leg in about 45°.
2. Turn the chest toward the right and square your hips by pressing the left hip well forward. On an inhalation, raise your arms above the head, bringing the palms together.
3. Exhale as you bend the left knee, sinking down into the right thigh and sitting bone. With your knee bent at 90°, it will be directly over the ankle hinge.
4. It is easy to focus all your thoughts on what is visible in front of you. Spread your awareness to the back side of the body. From your front leg, take your weight equally into the back leg. Press into the left heel, feeling the stretch along the back of the right leg.
5. Let the tailbone drop down toward the floor to help in opening the front of the hips, the pelvic abdomen, and front right thigh. This will also create space in the lumbar spine and help lengthen the lower back. Lift your head back and gaze upward. Once again, spread your mind to that which you can’t see. Move from the back of the waist to develop your backbend as you stretch upward through the middle back and arms, even while you maintain your connection with the legs and feet.
6. Inhale as you straighten the left leg. Lower the arms as you step the right foot forward on the exhalation, returning to stand in mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.


Gaze: Upward at thumbs
Counter Poses:

  • Single Leg Forward bend
  • Restful Deep Forward Fold
  • Mountain Pose


  • Look straight ahead
  • Do not join the palms overhead
  • Place hands on the hips
  • Bend the front knee less
  • Have the front leg straight
  • Lift the back heel

Strengthening, focusing

Warrior Pose 1, Virabhadrasana 1 Counter Poses

In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralize” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.


Restful Deep Forward Fold, Uttanasana


Mountain Pose, Tadasana


Single Leg Forward Bend, Parsvottanasana