Yoga at Home Warrior 1
Be a warrior, not a worrier. Finding strength, courage and power through Warrior I pose. With Kino MacGregor
Warrior I, otherwise known as Virabhadrasana A, is one of the most basic poses in the practice. It is also, however, deceptively simple. When performed correctly, Warrior I should cause the thighs to burn, the heart rate to accelerate, and the breath to become heavy. You should feel a sense of heat rising throughout the entire body as you cultivate both mental and physical strength. When practiced mindfully with proper alignment and adequate effort, the whole lesson of the journey of yoga can be found right there in Warrior I. In Indian mythology, Virabhadra is a spiritual warrior created from a lock of Shiva’s hair. Shiva sends Virabhadra down to Earth to act as a warrior of peace in the world.
When Shiva releases this lock of hair, dropping our warrior down to Earth, Virabhadra lands, at the ready in Warrior I. This posture and the
story behind it represents the brave heart of the yogi. As you begin to practice, you gain access to the energy of Virabhadra, and as such, gain the spiritual strength to go out into the world as a force of healing energy and strength. To practice your strongest Warrior I, begin in Mountain pose, or Samasthiti (also known as Tadasana). Hug the belly in toward the spine and begin to lift your energy up along the midline. Cultivate strength in your Mountain pose and then step back with the left foot. You want about the distance of one of your own legs between your feet.
Place the heel of your back foot down on to the mat so that the toes come out to a 45-degree angle. Check to be sure that the heel of your front foot is in line with the arch of your back foot, then press down with the back leg to seal the outside edge of the foot against the mat. Be sure to keep your pelvis in a neutral position, oriented forward toward the top of your mat.
From here, pull femur-head of your front leg into your hip socket as you bend the front knee. Be sure that you keep the belly hugging in toward the spine, and then reach the fingertips up toward the ceiling, palms touching. At the same time, lift your gaze. The whole body strong, every muscle working. Hold here for several rounds of deep, continuous breath, then step back to Samasthiti. When you’re ready, move to the other side.
There are many variations of Warrior I and in case of injury here are a few different options that you can try that may help to better support your body while still gaining the benefits of this posture. Have fun practicing!
Keep your hands together in front of your chest.
Keep your heel raised and look toward your joined hands or in front of you.
Use a chair under the front leg or beside you for more support and to be more stable