MAN ON THE MAT with Ravi Dixit


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In Sanskrit, 'Vira' means 'hero' or 'warrior' and 'Bhadra' is 'good, blessed or fortunate'. This asana is named after the fierce warrior, Virabhadra, an avatar of Lord Shiva, symbolising positivity and our inner ability to overcome darkness.


  • Strengthens and stretches the shoulders, arms, legs, hips, ankles and back.
  • Releases tension from the neck and shoulders.
  • Opens the chest and lungs, improving breathing capacity.
  • Increases flexibility of the spine and stimulates the spinal cord.
  • Improves focus, balance and stability.
  • Stimulates healthy circulation and metabolism.


  • Misalignment of the hips: both hips should be facing forward, parallel to each other. Make sure your hips are aligned properly before going further into the pose.
  • Positioning of the back foot: move the back foot slightly into 45° to find your stability.
  • It’s an easy mistake to bend your front knee too far forward. The front knee should be stacked over the ankle and the thigh should stay parallel over the ground, even as you deepen into the lunge.
  • There is a tendency to lift the shoulder towards the ears. Actively draw the shoulders down from the ears, pull the shoulder blades back, and lift the sides of the chest.


  • For beginners, focus on grounding and correct alignment first by placing the hands on the hips, instead of lifting the arms up overhead. Look straight ahead and focus on your balance and breath.


  • Virabhadrasana requires awareness. Regular practice of this asana helps build stability and stamina, and can calm the mind and improves concentration.
  • Holding the posture requires awareness of the breath and different muscles of the body to keep balance. This awareness sharpens the ability to have better control over the mind and can help regulate emotions.

Ravi Dixit is an Indian yoga teacher living in London, passionate about making traditional yoga understandable for everyone. Visit: or connect on Instagram @raviyoga_goa. Photo: Andrew Prod:

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