Warrior 1, or Virabhadrasana (1) in Sanskrit, is a foundational yoga pose that represents the strength and stability of the balance between fire and peace within all of us. It’s an energetic pose that requires a focused, calm mind. There are major physical benefits, including a big stretch in the groins, psoas, ankles and shoulders, while strengthening the back muscles and arms. Here’s the guide on how to align Warrior 1:
- Warm up your body with some sun salutations and maybe even hip flexor/groin stretches first.
- Starting from Downward Facing Dog, look to your hands and step your right foot in between your hands. Walk it out to the right about 3-4 inches. This is a neutral standing pose so we aim for heel-to-heel alignment.
- Ground your left foot in to a 45-60 degree angle. Keep your right hip tucking back to help align a neutral pelvis (so that your torso is facing the front of the mat, not the side).
- While you ground into the outer arch of your left foot and root through the entire left leg, bend your right knee to be directly over your right ankle. With your arms extending above you and your lower belly engaged, inhale as you rise your torso over your hips.
- Continue working the left leg straight and the right thigh perpendicular to the mat; it’s important that your knee is directly over your ankle here. Continue tucking the right hip back and the left hip forward for neutral alignment.
- Depending the flexibility you have in your shoulders, you will either have your palms facing each other with your arms a little wider than parallel to each other–or maybe your palms can press together. Keep your arms in external rotation, which means you are drawing your triceps to the front and your biceps to the back.
- Stay for 5-10 breaths with your gaze towards the ceiling or in front of you. Repeat on other leg.