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Virabhadrasana A – Warrior 1

(veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-uh-nuh)

Virabhadra = Warrior or hero
Asana = comfortable seat

Named after Virabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva this pose is the first of three in the Virabhadrasana series and is a core pose for almost every Yogi. This position is as powerful as it is complex; with so many different alignment cues it can feel like you are being pulled in so many directions. The key is to open the upper body and hips, believe in your ability to overcome the obstacles and become fearless to the challenges and tests that create strength, focus, confidence and courage. Bravely lift your spiritual Warrior and come to realise Virabhadra’s heroic qualities within you.

It is best to learn to come into Virabhadrasana A from Mountain pose (Tadasana):

  1. Slide the left foot back into pyramid stance as though you are drawing a line in the sand.
  2. Pivot on the ball of your left foot and drop your left heel to the floor with your toes turned out about 45 degrees from the heel.
  3. Bend your right knee directly over your right ankle so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Check the alignment of your hips. Draw your right hip back and your left hip forward so that both hips are squared to the front of your mat.
  5. Rise to standing, as your heart lifts to the sky and with the palms facing each other, bring your arms and hands forward and then overhead, lifting your up toward the ceiling.
  6. Lift your gaze up toward your thumbs and slide your shoulder blades down the back.
  7. Press all four corners of the feet into the earth, ground down through the outer edge of your left foot and make sure your right thigh is still as parallel to the floor as possible.
  8. To come out of the asana, release your arms to your sides and step the back foot forward to meet the front foot in mountain pose.
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