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Be a warrior, not a worrier

Warrior Yoga Pose

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Virabhadrasana, or Warrior, is one of the most powerful moves you will come across in yoga for your body and mind. All yogis, from beginners to the most experienced, can practice the warrior sequence. There are three main versions of Virabhadrasana, all stretching the chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, belly, and groin and strengthening the thighs, calves, and ankles.

Warrior I 

To practice this move, begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Then step one foot back and place it on the ground. Ensuring your hips are square and facing forward and that your front leg is at a 90-degree angle. Once you are comfortable, reach your arms up, touch your palms together, and look up to the sky. 

While in Warrior I, you should feel a stretch in the shoulders, neck, arms, and legs. At the same time, you are opening the chest to create more space for deeper breathing. This pose improves balance and tones the legs, abdomen, and arches of the feet.

You may find to begin with having your front leg at a 90-degree angle is not possible; in this case, bend your leg to an angle comfortable to you. Remember not to over-stretch, as you do not want to cause yourself an injury.

warrior 1

Warrior II 

From Warrior I, twist your hips so they are sideways, and extend your arms parallel to the floor, with your palms facing down. While keeping your front leg at a 90-degree angle, gaze at your front middle finger and take deep breaths.

Warrior II stretches the groin, shoulders, chest, and lungs, stimulating the abdominal organs and increasing blood circulation around the body. Plus, it releases tension in the lower back and strengthens the legs and ankles.

warrior 2

Warrior III 

Moving on from Warrior II, shift your weight onto your front leg, keeping it straight. Lean forward and extend your back leg so your body from hands to toes is parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your back straight, and your arms stretched out above your head. Gaze down a few inches in front of your toes, keeping your neck long. 

Warrior III is probably the most challenging of the three. It requires good balance and strength from within. Practising this asana will benefit you in many ways, throughout the body. As with the other two warrior poses, this strengthens the legs and abdominal muscles.

Warrior III can reduce unwanted fat from around the hips and stomach. This pose can be very beneficial if you suffer from sciatica since the lengthening down the spine is therapeutic.

warrior III

Reverse Warrior

Begin in Warrior II; twist your front hand so your palm faces upwards. Lift your front arm up to the ceiling while sliding your back arm down your back leg. Lengthen your side, lift your chest and take a slight backbend. Raise your head to look at your hand; if you have any neck issues, keep your gaze down to your back foot.

If you are a beginner, concentrate on lifting your chest rather than the backbend. Reverse Warrior is a Warrior II variation designed to give your body a deeper stretch through the torso, legs, groin, and waist.

This pose can relieve any lower back pain that you may be experiencing while strengthening your lower body. Another benefit to the reverse warrior is that it boosts the blood circulation around your body.

reverse warrior

These powerful warrior poses can be added to any yoga sequence during your practice or practised independently. While all yoga poses are beneficial, these work all the body from your head to your feet. Overall, they increase balance throughout your body and mind, enabling you to release any negative thoughts and feel your body’s strength.

If you plan on trying these poses out, remember: 

  • Do not practice these moves if you suffer from heart problems, severe neck or shoulder pain, knee pain, high blood pressure, or a recent chronic illness. 
  • Keep the head in a neutral position if you are experiencing any neck injuries. 
  • Don’t try it if you have any spinal injuries. 
  • If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor before practising yoga. 

Finally, don’t forget to check out our other yoga blogs, such as these on child’s pose and sun salutation. Plus, please remember to tag us in your warrior pose photos @surrender_to_happiness. If you want to increase the energy flow in the room while you practice yoga, add a golden triangle to the area. Lastly, for more wellness tips and information, take a look at our blog. 

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