September 2019 – VIRABHADRASANA – The Warrior

STAGE ONE

1 to 1 yoga

  1. Begin in Tadasana. Ensure that you feel relaxed, centred and that you feel a strong connection with the earth below. Bring your awareness to your breathing to create a steady rhythmic flow.
  2. Adopt a wide stance with your feet about two to three shoulder widths apart. (You may wish to alter the stance once in position to suit your body length)
  3. Begin to turn your right foot ninety degrees to the right and push your left heel back slightly into a forty five degree angle, almost in the direction of your right foot. Ensure your hips are facing forwards.
  4. As you breath in slowly raise your arms out to shoulder level. Relaxing your arms and shoulders which are still in place as you breathe out.
  5. Gaze at the fingers on your right hand and tuck your chin in. On your outbreath, slowly bend your right knee, checking that it is directly in line with your ankle. When aligned, gaze at your fingers once more.
  6. You may wish to lengthen the posture to create more depth by moving the rear foot slightly back. Alternatively,if you feel the pose is too long you may wish to bring the rear foot forwards. Allow yourself to feel comfortable with the posture and make any adjustments you feel the need to make.
  7. When in the pose, adopt normal breathing.
  8. To come out of the pose, Breath in and turn your head to the front and straighten your right leg. Bring your arms by your sides and allow your feet to face forwards.
  9. Repeat two more times.

Repeat the other side.

STAGE TWO

  1. Follow the same procedure as above with a wide leg stance.
  2. Push the left leg back a little more so that it is at a sixty degree angle.
  3. On your inbreath, slowly raise your arms to shoulder level, remaining nice and relaxed. Breathe out as your palms are facing outwards.
  4. On your outbreath, make the following movements simultaneously:
    • Looking at your left palm, bring it over to touch your right to form Namaste.
    • Check that your hips and shoulders are square on.
    • Bend your right knee, ensuring it is directly in line with your ankle.
    • Slowly raise your arms so that they are overhead. Look straight ahead, tucking your chin in. Try to relax your shoulders and arms and adopt normal breathing. Hold the posture until you feel ready to release.
  5. On your outbreath, reverse the four movements one at a time by lowering your arms to shoulder level. Breathe in and bring your hips to the front and bring your arms around to outstretch sideways. On your outbreath, lower your arms and allow your feet to face forwards.
  6. Repeat two more times.

Repeat the other side.

You may wish to move into a forward bend as a counter-pose afterwards.

Summary of Warrior yoga pose

Alignment points Contra-indications Safety Instructions Benefits
  • Heels are aligned.
  • Leading knee above the ankle
  • Face, chest, hips, shoulders facing forwards. Bend your right knee and ensure it is directly in line with your ankle.
Do not perform if you have high blood pressure or a heart condition.
Avoid during the first three days of menstruation.
  • Keep your shoulders and arms relaxed to avoid `locking`.
  • Rear foot firmly anchored to the floor.
  • Leading knee to face forwards.
  • Mildly contract the lower abdominal muscles to avoid hyper-extension of the lumbar region
  • Promotes vigour and vitality
  • Very empowering
  • Increases self confidence
  • Enhances a strong will and determination, balance, harmony and stability
  • Excellent for balance