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.

How To Practice

Doing this asana will require more effort because the muscles are lengthened and held steady in the stretched out position. This pose resembles Warrior I in that you begin in mountain pose (tadasana) and then jump your legs about 4′ apart and raise your arms overhead, with fingers reaching towards the sky, palms in.

Next, face your torso forward, simultaneously bending your right knee until it is in a 90 degree angle to the thigh and your palms come together. Now the pose morphs away from Warrior I into Warrior III. To do this, lift your back foot onto your toes, pointing forward. Then lift your rear leg horizontal to the floor also, as the arms go from being overhead to pointed horizontally in front of you as well. The finishing point is obtained as weight of your body is balanced on a straight, perpendicular right leg.

Return to mountain pose and repeat on the other side.

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