An incredibly powerful standing pose, Virabhadrasana (pronounced veer-AH-bah-dra-sanna) can build strength while developing flexibility and balance. Although Warrior I may look simple from the outside, there are many angles and forces at play internally. With a little bit of patience and dedication, everyone has something to gain from embracing their warrior spirit.
Combined with the support of your FeetUp® Trainer, this pose becomes much more manageable to enter into and enjoy for longer periods of time.
- Builds strength in the lower body (legs, feet, ankles)
- Opens up the hips and shoulders
- Lengthens sidebody, back, and neck
- Increases stamina for standing poses
- Develops balance
- Recent or chronic injury to hips, knees, shoulders, or ankles.
- Neck and lower back (lumbar) issues. Modifications below!
Step by Step
- From Extended Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot to the outside edge of the FeetUp® Trainer.
- With your hands on the frame, adjust your hips to be parallel to the front edge of the cushion. You may have to step the back foot slightly forward or out to the side to make this happen comfortably.
- Rotate the back heel inward to ground down through the outside edge of your left foot. Maintain squared hips by adjusting your hand position or distance to the trainer.
- Keep the front knee directly above the heel by maintaining contact between your calf and the side edge of the frame.
- Raise shoulders above hips. Focus on that stacked front knee, squared off hip, and grounded back foot with a lifted arch. Using the front leg as a fixed point, make small adjustments to explore proper alignment.
- Raise arms overhead with a breath, palms facing inward. Keep the shoulders gently reaching down as the hands lift upward shoulder distance apart or more.
- Inhale long, exhale deep.
Focal Points for Alignment
- There are two distances to take into consideration for foot position: front to back (short ends of the mat) side to side (long edges). If you have tighter hips or lower back, start with a shorter distance front to back and a wider stance side to side.
- Focus on this pose from the ground up, setting up your legs and hips before raising the arms.
- Avoid arching the lower back or tilting the chest upwards. Keep the core engaged and its forward until you feel solid in your balance.
- Trouble grounding down through that back foot? Shorten your stance front to back even more and make sure your feet are at least hip distance wide apart.
Using a FeetUp® Trainer to Deepen the Pose
Your trainer offers valuable alignment feedback with minimal effort. In the beginning, the frame offers more support to help step your foot forward with control and ease. Once there, the edge of the frame acts as a guide to keep your knee above the ankle. This allows you to keep your head up and gaze forward while you make adjustments to your stance.
Squaring your hips off to the front edge of the cushion is a great way to focus on hip placement in relation to your feet. Think about energetically connecting that open hip (the left one when the right foot is forward) to the front right corner of the trainer.
Depending on how open your hips are, you can line up your back foot with various points of your FeetUp® Trainer (center of the cushion, inside of the frame, outside of the legs).
We’d love to know how this all works for you. Did you come up with any helpful tips, tricks, or insight that would help others? Share in the comments below!