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Pose of the Month: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)

Sanskrit Name and meaning veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh named after a mythological Hindu warrior, Virabhadra vira = hero bhadra = friend asana = pose How to: Step 1: Begin in a lunge position with your right leg forward and back foot planted. The right toes should point straight ahead, and right knee stacked directly over your right ankle. The left toes should be pointed at a 45-60 degree angle. The right heel is in line with the left heel. Step 2: Engage your legs by pressing through your feet. Bring your hands to your hips, squaring your hips and shoulders straight ahead. Step 3: Inhale and lift your arms straight up over your head, palms facing each other, or if possible, palms together. Reach up strongly through your arms, and lift through your sternum. Keep the tops of your shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Step 4: To deepen the stretch, keep your palms together and gaze up towards your hands. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute. Step 5: To release, straighten the right leg, pivot your body 90 degrees to the left, parallel your feet, and extend your arms out to your sides. Take a few breaths, then lunge into the left leg to begin the pose for the left side. Benefits of the pose:

  • Stretches the chest, lungs and psoas

  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms, legs and back muscles.

  • Strengthens and stretches the calves and ankles.

  • Improves focus, balance and stability

  • Helps you access your inner strength

  • Can be therapeutic for sciatica


  • May not be suitable for practitioners who have high blood pressure

  • If you have shoulder problems, keep raised arms parallel (or slightly wider) to each other

  • If you have neck problems, keep head in a neutral position and do not look up at the hands

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