Virabhadrasana, or Warrior Pose is a great pose to strengthen the arms, shoulders, thighs and back muscles. This pose is named after Veerabhadra, a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.

Veera – vigorous, warrior, courageous; Bhadra – good, auspicious; Asana – posture

How to do Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

Virabhadrasana is one of the most graceful yoga postures. While being graceful, it is also a strong pose.

  • Stand straight with legs wide apart, about 3-4 feet.
  • Turn your right foot in 90 degrees and left foot out pointing straight forward.
  • Align your left heel to the middle arch of your right foot.
  • Lift both arms sideways to shoulder height with palms facing down. Arms are parallel to the mat with shoulders relaxed away from ears.
  • With an inhale, bend your right knee. Ensure that the right knee is directly above right foot and not overshooting the right ankle.
  • Turn your head to look to the right, past your right fingers.
  • Every inhale, feel your spine growing taller, every exhale, push your pelvis down. Hold your arms up strong, shoulder blades back and down.
  • Weight is equally distributed to both legs.
  • With an inhale, straighten right leg. With an exhale, lower your arms down from the sides.
  • Repeat on the left side, bringing left foot in 90 degrees and right foot out.

Benefits of the Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

  • Strengthens the arms, shoulders, legs, lower back.
  • Improves balance in the body and helps increase stamina.
  • Releases frozen shoulders and the constant hunched-over-desk tired shoulders.
  • Releases the stress held in shoulders and upper arms.

Contraindications of the Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

  • High blood pressure patients should avoid this posture.
  • Spinal disorders and recent recovery of chronic illnesses, should consult with a doctor before practicing Warrior Pose.
  • Warrior Pose is especially beneficial for pregnant ladies in their second and third trimesters, provided they have been practicing yoga regularly. Practice standing close to a wall for support, if required. Do consult a doctor before doing any yoga poses during pregnancy.
  • Avoid this posture if you are suffering or had recently suffered from diarrhea.
  • If you have knee pain or arthritis, use knee supports before practicing this posture.