Virabhadrasana is pronounced veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-ana. The term “virabhadra” means a mythic warrior sage. The warrior I, II, and III poses are inspired by the mythic character described in the poem “The Birth of the War Lord,” by Kalidasa. The poses are grounding, since they require a firm foundation on the feet. They are also integrating, since they incorporate the upper and lower body in a coordinated effort.

Doing this asana will require more effort because the muscles are lengthened and held steady in the stretched position. Begin in mountain pose (tadasana) and then jump your legs about 4′ apart, while simultaneously raising your arms straight out at shoulder level, horizontal to the floor.

The next step is to raise your arms straight over your head, palms facing each other, while simultaneously rotating slowly at the hips so that your front leg can point straight forward and rear leg can rotate half as much.

Finally, bend your right knee until the calf and thigh form a right angle. Keep your upper body stretched straight up to the sky, bringing your palms together. Also maintain the weight of your lower body on both legs, being sure not to bring the support of your body only over the bent leg.

Return to mountain pose and repeat on the other side, left leg forward.

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