Yoga Pose Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)
Hi! Today I’m going to talk about Yoga pose Warrior 1, also known as Proud Warrior. This is one of my favourite yoga poses because I have encountered a great experience when I’m practicing this pose.
I have shared what is my great experience in my another blog post. You may check it out HERE for more details.
The Myths of Proud Warrior Yoga Pose
Once upon a time there was a powerful king named Daksha. When his daughter, Sati, fell in love with and married the lord of universal consciousness, Shiva, Daksha wasn’t exactly thrilled.
To make his feelings about his loathed son-in-law clear, Daksha threw a party and invited everyone but his daughter Sati and Shiva.
Sati, however, went to the party. But being greatly humiliated and insulted, she threw herself into the fire and perished. When Shiva heard this he was gravely provoked, tore a hair from his matted locks and threw it to the ground.
A powerful hero named Virabhadra rose up and awaited his orders. He was told to lead Shiva’s army against Daksa and destroy his party. Virabhadra and his army appeared in the midst of Daksa’s assembly like a hurricane and destroyed the party, routed the other gods and priests and beheaded Daksa.
Shiva in grief for Sati withdrew to Kailas and plunged into meditation. Sati was born again as Uma in the house of Himalaya. She strove once more for the love of Shiva and ultimately won his heart. The story is told by Kalidasa in his great poem Kumara sambhava (The Birth of the War-Lord).
This asana is dedicated to the powerful hero created by Shiva from his matted hair.
Benefits of Warrior 1 Pose
In this pose the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing which will improve the breathing capacity and invigorating the body.
It stretches the whole front side of the body while strengthening the thighs, ankles, and back. This is a powerful standing pose that develops stamina, balance, and coordination.
It relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees, arches of the feet and cures stiffness of the neck. It also encourages greater flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the feet, increasing circulation as it warms all of the muscles. It also reduces fat round the hips.
It relieves backache, lumbago and sciatica. It can be therapeutic for sciatica. It strengthens the back muscles, tones the abdominal muscles, relieves acidity and improves digestion.
It strengthens the bladder and corrects a displaced uterus. It relieves mentrual pain and reduces heavy menstruation.
Beyond the physical pose, Warrior I creates deep concentration. Focusing on your foundation and building the pose from the ground up reduces distractions and hones your energy. Your mind becomes focused, calm, and clear.
How To Do Warrior 1
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Exhale as you step your feet wide apart, about 4 to 5 feet.
- Turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out 90 degrees to the right. Align the right heel with the left heel.
- Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as possible with the front edge of your mat. As the left hip point turns forward, press the head of the left femur back to ground the heel.
- Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (and parallel to each other), and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling.
- Lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. As you ground down through the back foot, feel a lift that runs up the back leg, across the belly and chest, and up into the arms.
- Press your weight through your left heel. Then, exhale as you bend your right knee over your right ankle. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting down through your ankles.
- You can keep your arms parallel, or press your palms together.
- Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.
- Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears. Feel your shoulder blades pressing firmly inward.
- Press down through the outer edge of your back foot, keeping your back leg straight.
- Stay for 30 seconds to a minute.
- To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.
Note: Please perform the yoga pose under the guide of a certified yoga teacher especially for beginner. You are at your own risk and responsible if you perform on your own. Whatever provided here is just act as an information.
Various Way Of Doing Warrior 1
There are various way of doing Warrior 1 pose. Some people might like to try different ways and choose the way they find more comfortable with as it is really depend on individual perference.
Some might perform with the front knee bend first before raise their both arms up towards the ceiling. And some people might start from standing at the mountain pose infront of the mat first and then bring one leg step back to bring the leg apart. There are many more other ways too.
Below I have shared a video provided by one of the online classes provider, YogaDownload, which showing another way of perform Warrior 1 for your knowledge.
You have anything or experience you would like to share with me? Or you have any question in mind? You are welcome to leave them in the comment box provided below. I am more than happy to hear from you and help you if you have any questions...:-)
I actually just recently started doing yoga! I’m curious to learn some new poses, so this pose seems beginner-friendly and beneficial for my goals (increase strength and stamina, especially for snowboarding)
It seems yoga has a variety of benefits – as you mentioned in the article – from digestion to strength and stamina and flexibility. But how often would you recommend for beginners? Do you do yoga everyday? If I’m busy, is 5 minutes of yoga better than nothing or should I try to focus for a longer amount of time?
Haha sorry if there are too many questions!
Hi Jeffrey. Welcome to begin your yoga journey! You will have a great experience along the journey..:-) It is more than just the benefits of physical. You will realise it benefits your body, mind and soul too.
I would advise if you can at least practice it 3 times a week. You can do everyday too if you can. If you really busy, a 10-15 min of practice is better than nothing but at least try to make it one full 45min to 1hr yoga session a week.
Of course, the more regular you practice, the faster you can see the change and different in yourself, in term of your breathing, body and mind. You have to learn to feel the stretch. Who know? you might fall in love with yoga and you will not want to miss the practice! Enjoy your practce..:-)
Thanks for sharing the post. Nice article with a lot of details on how to stretch the back, the neck and other parts of the body. Nowadays, we need to do yoga, it relaxes muscles and mind as well.
Thanks for sharing the Warrior 1 position, I will include in my Yoga exercise.
Hi! Yes, Warrior 1 pose is really a good stretch. You can feel that you have a better breathing after the pose because of the chest opening. It’s one of the classic yoga postures which you will always come across in a yoga class..:-) It’s good to include this posture into one of your own yoga practice.
What an incredible article! The video tutorial was fantastic and inspiring. I have been looking for an answer to help with what could be a hip flexor issue from long hours of driving. I will begin practicing this pose for sure! As part of my spiritual development, mediation has become an important part of my practice, and I am looking forward to adding Yoga too. I noticed that you mentioned holding the pose for about 30 to 60 seconds. How many repetitions of this stance is appropriate? Thank you for sharing!
Hi Patrick. Thank you for sharing your thought. Yes, yoga is one of the best combination with meditation practice. Regarding your question, there is actually no so call the appropriate number of repetition. You can just do it once only together with your other poses practice. For beginner, you can start by holding for 30 seconds. Your strength will build up if you practice regular. Along the way you will notice you can hold the pose longer once your strength builld up.
After yoga practice, you will find that it’s easiler to go into meditation because your body and mind are in a relax state already after the yoga practice. Enjoy your practice!..:-)
Yoga has been an important part of my life for going on 3 years now. This is one of my favourite poses! Also a big fan of down dog. You explained how to do warrior 1 pose very well. Keep up the great work.
Hi Will. Thank you for your compliment! And thank you for your sharing too. Keep your spirit inside you burning and may yoga forever be an important part of your life!