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 grounded, 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.

How To Practice

Doing this asana will require more effort because the muscles are lengthened and held steady in the stretched out position. As with Warrior I, begin in mountain pose (tadasana) and jump your legs about 4′ apart. Simultaneously, raise your arms straight out so they are horizontal to the ground at shoulder level, palms down.

The next step is to slowly twist your hips partially forward as your right foot points straight forward and right calf and thigh form a 90 degree angle. Your left foot stays in place and left leg remains straight and locked at the knee.

Finally, look straight forward along the same plane as your right arm as it reaches towards the horizon, being sure to keep your torso straight up towards the sky. Don’t be tempted to lunge forward towards the bent right knee.

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


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