It is fairly normal for a modern day human being to expend their mental, physical and emotional faculties in order to, fairly ironically, have a better quality of life later on. Additionally, as is known to all, the path to success is not linear. Hence, one can safely assume that if you are trying to make something of yourself in life, you are bound to face setbacks, failures and moments of self-doubt, which tend to take a toll on the human mind and body.
But, what if we told you that there is one particular Yoga asana pose that can help you avoid the aforementioned roadblocks and take life head on like an actual spiritual warrior? That’s the exact Yoga asana that this article is about. What’s more, Virabhadrasana 1 a.k.a Warrior 1 pose has a fascinating mythological legend attached to it. Read on to know more about Virabhadrasana 1 also known as Warrior 1 pose.
The name of the pose, which roughly translates to the “Friendly warrior” or the “Distinguished Hero” pose, essentially comes from one of the most well-known figures of Indian mythology, Virabhadra. There are a total of three Virabhadrasana poses, all of which have been inspired from different moments from the infamous tale that made Virabhadra a well known mythological figure. It is a tale about love, grief, anger, revenge and then ultimately, regret that is followed by compassion. We would go into more details regarding it, but it deserves an article in itself. Perhaps we will take a deeper dive into it in the future.
The name of the pose also has a different kind of significance as well. It is believed that the pose also gets its name due to the fact that it helps you fight your own inner demons, you know, like a warrior, if done regularly.
Virabhadrasana 1, which is also known as the Warrior 1 pose is a Yoga pose that essentially puts all of your body parts and organs to work, including the mind, but primarily will focus on the lower half of the same. Some of the lower-body muscle groups it engages are the likes of quadriceps, hamstrings, abductor as well as adductor muscles.
The Virabhadrasana I is a complex pose, but given the number of benefits it provides to the practitioner, one would say that it is absolutely worth learning the position.
Some of the several benefits of Virabhadrasana are:
Virabhadrasana I makes you stronger: One of the main purposes Warrior 1 pose is to put a pressure on our core muscle groups that determine things such as our strength and stability, such as the back, shoulders, hips and hamstrings, amongst others. This pressure, in turn, makes the muscles stronger.
Virabhadrasana I makes you a mental warrior: Warrior 1 pose essentially opens up lines of communication between the body and all the chakras of the body, allowing for a deeper sense of connection within oneself and a greater sense of mental and body awareness. This enables a greater sense of self understanding as well.
Virabhadrasana I helps increase stamina levels: Since Virabhadrasana I requires nearly the entire body to deal with prolonged periods of pressure being applied on some of the larger muscle groups found in the human body, practicing the same increases the endurance level of the physique of the practitioner, which would help the practitioner carry out a sustained load of work for a longer period of time.
Virabhadrasana I improves your balance and posture: Virabhadrasana I helps you straighten your spine, thereby alleviating issues related to a bad posture. Failure to do so could spell disaster for your hips, back and neck in the long run. Practicing Warrior 1 pose can help you strengthen your back and spinal muscles, thus keeping those ailments at bay and improving your balance and body posture at the same time.
Virabhadrasana I improves flexibility: This particular asana also opens up your hips and shoulder blades, and while in the process, it stretches all the ligaments and tendons that keep them attached to the muscles around it, thereby allowing for more flexibility.
The Virabhadrasana 1 also known as Warrior 1 pose is, admittedly, a reasonably intricate pose, but if you follow the below-mentioned steps to the tee, you will be able to execute this pose with correct form.
Virabhadrasana I step 1: Start with the Tadasana pose but ensure that there is a distance of at least 3 feet between your legs. Post that, twist your right foot by 90 degrees and your left foot between 45-60 degrees.
Virabhadrasana I step 2: Bend your torso in the direction of the toe of your right foot. Simultaneously, raise your arms in order to make them parallel to the floor. Move them in a clockwise fashion and take them to the top of your head, where both of your palms should ultimately meet. Make sure that you inhale during this process as well.
Virabhadrasana I step 3: Bend your right knee and take it to right above your ankle. While doing so, inhale, take your arms back slightly and raise your chest simultaneously. Tuck your tail bone a little bit to achieve a gentle back bend.
Virabhadrasana I step 4: Stay in this particular position for about 30-60 seconds.
Virabhadrasana I step 5: Begin retreating to your original position while exhaling. Get your arms back to their original position in a clockwise manner, straighten the knee and then twist your torso to face forward.
To complete one repetition of this pose, repeat the aforementioned steps in the other direction as well.
Virabhadrasana 1 a.k.a Warrior 1 pose must be practiced at least once a day either in isolation or as a part of a yoga routine. It can be done either in the morning or the evening. Irrespective of the time, ensure that your stomach and bladder has been empty for at least 4-6 hours prior to the session.
You should avoid Virabhadrasana 1 also known as Warrior 1 pose if you have faced any of the following circumstances or have the following conditions:
Always consult a certified doctor before embarking on a new physical routine.
When you get into the starting position for the Virabhadrasana 1, you instantly start feeling the stretch along your adductor muscles and hamstrings. As the movement progresses, you will feel more and more pressure on the legs. This is a result of your leg muscles simultaneously stretching and contracting.
Once you have moved to your right, the following moves will put pressure on the higher section of your body, such as hips, core, obliques and then eventually the back, spinal muscles and arms upon achieving full motion.
Yoga instructors recommend that a practitioner must stay in this position for 30-60 seconds in order to feel the effect of the pose on the entire body.
The pose gets the name Virabhdra, or the “Friendly Warrior” pose because of two reasons. 1, the poses are allegedly reminiscent of scenes from the legend of Virabhadra and 2, the practitioner is able to fight the negative thoughts in his/her head like a warrior.
Some of the alternative techniques of Virabhadrasana I are:
Virabhadrasana I pose while gazing forward: This is done by those who have difficulty looking upwards for long periods of time.
Virabhadrasana I with Trikonasana pose flow: This is essentially the yogi’s smooth transition from being in the Virabhadrasana pose to the Trikonasana pose.
Virabhadrasana I pose with a chair in the front: This is your standard Virabhadrasana pose, but the same is executed with a chair in the front of the practitioner in order to give the student support when needed.
Virabhadrasana I pose with airplane arms: This is your standard Virabhadrasana I pose, except the practitioner needs to keep their arms in the “flying” position throughout in order to put an extra amount of pressure on the arms.
Virabhadrasana I pose with hands on hips: This variation requires the practitioner to keep his/her arms on his/her hips for additional support.
The only way to get better at Virabhadrasana I is through regular practice and experimentation with various variations in order to assess which one works best for you. Additionally, you can also visit BalanceGurus and take a look at the step by step guide for performing the Virabhadrasana I pose once again for revision purposes.
You might also be interested in the following articles