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Virabhadrasana, otherwise known as Warrior, is one of the most powerful moves you will come across in yoga. Not only for your body but for your mind too. All yogis can practice the warrior sequence from beginners to the most experienced. There are three main versions of Virabhadrasana, all of which stretch the chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, belly, and groin, and strengthen the thighs, calves, and ankles.
To practice this, start 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 to 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. While 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.
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 and stimulates the abdominal organs and increases blood circulation around the body. Plus, it releases tension in the lower back and strengthens the legs and ankles.
Moving on from Warrior II, shift your weight on to your front leg, keeping it straight. Lean forward and extend your back leg, so your body from hands to toes are parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your back straight and 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. Practicing 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.
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 relieves 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.
These powerful warrior poses can be added to any yoga sequence during your practice or practiced on there own. While all yoga poses are beneficial, these work all the body from your head, right down 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:
- If you suffer from heart problems, severe neck or shoulder pain, knee pain, high blood pressure, or recent chronic illness, then do not practice these moves.
- 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, then do speak to your doctor before practicing yoga.
Finally, don’t forget to check out our other yoga blog on child’s pose. Plus, please remember to tag us in your warrior pose photos @surrender_to_happiness. Lastly, for more wellness tips and information, take a look at our blog.