Asana ABC Series – Virabhadrasana A – Warrior 1
Welcome to the All Yoga Asana ABC. We are creating a library of step-by-step tutorials of yoga poses to help you develop, grow, and expand in your yoga practice. Here, you’ll find instructions on how to get into a posture whilst learning how to reduce the risk of an injury. Learn about alignment and how to practising safely. Each tutorial covers modifications and variations of each pose to aid you in working out what works best for your body. Find out how to do standing, seated, twisting, and supine poses that are suitable for beginners to advanced practitioners. Happy practising
Virabhadrasana A – Warrior 1
Virabhadrasana A, or Warrior 1, is a standing posture that builds strength in the legs and creates flexibility in the hips. Additionally, this pose stretches the spine, the chest, and the shoulders.
Warrior 1 is included in Sun Salutation B and in the standing series in the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. It is also a foundational pose featured in many yoga classes. Remind yourself of your inner warrior by finding balance, focus, and strength as you practice this posture. Learn how to safely try Warrior 1 with alignment cues below, as well as learning the modifications that your body may currently need.
Remember to honour your body and listen to your breath.
1. Starting at the top of your mat, step your left foot back so that your right foot is pointing forward and you have a wide stance. Pivot your left heel out to the left slightly so that your foot is pointing out towards a 45 degree angle. Line up both of your heels. Bring your torso and your hips to face the front of the room or as much as possible.
2. Exhale, bend your right knee (90 degrees), making sure that your knee doesn’t roll over your ankle. If it does, step wider. Point your tailbone down to the ground. Keep your spine long.
3. Inhale, rise your arms up so that they are parallel to each other. Bring your palms together and look up at your thumbs by gently dropping your head back. Or, keep the hands apart with the palms facing each other and look up. Reach through your fingertips towards the ceiling, whilst keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Keep bending through your front knee.
4. Stay here for 5 deep breaths.
Warrior 1 tips
Balance may be an issue in this pose. If this is the case step your back foot over to the left slightly to give yourself greater stability. Over time, work to bringing your heels in line with each other.
Keep the leg behind you active and engaged whilst pushing the foot down firmly into the mat.
Imagine a vertical line in the middle of your body and draw your inner thigh on your back leg towards the middle or towards the ‘midline’.
To Exit the Pose
Exhale release your arms down by your sides. Inhale straighten your right leg and Exhale step your feet together at the top of your mat.
Repeat on the opposite side.
If you find that your legs or hips are feeling very tight, shorten your stance slightly whilst still making sure that your front knee is directly above your ankle.
If you are unable to rise your arms up, instead keep your hands on your waist.
Cautions and Contraindications