Virabhadrasana (Warrior 1)

Practice

  • Step your feet out to a nice, wide stance.
  • Turn your right foot out to the right, so that it is parallel to the outer edge of your mat.
  • Turn the left foot in as much as you have to, so that you feel the left hip in line with the right hip. Awareness of the position of your hipbones relative to each other is something you have to deliberately cultivate in the beginning so that eventually it becomes almost automatic. And for this purpose you can keep your hands by the hips, and your right hand to gently pull back the right hip.
  • All four corners of the both feet are making even contact. However if your hips are tight, the back foot might not physically ground very well, but yet, with your awareness keep energy flowing down.
  • Now gently bend the front knee so that it is as parallel to the floor as possible, with the knee, pointing forward, lined up directly over the heel.
  • Be careful that the knee doesn’t splay out to the left or right.
  • Again focus on drawing the right hip and right chest back, along with drawing forward the left hip and rib cage.
  • Back leg inner thigh muscles are active and lifting. Knee is straight but not locked.
  • Keep the left inner foot’s arch continually lifting
  • Now gently raise the arms over head, but at the same time drawing down the inner shoulder blades away from the sides of the neck
  • Draw the shoulder blades firmly into the back ribs, so that arms can move a bit back ward.
  • If you have no neck problems, gently lower the head backward so that you can look upward.
  • Left buttock moves under. Equalize the weight on each leg. Feel the power of your legs as they support and ground you.
  • Chest is lifting, collar bones broad and sternum long. Mentally assume the role of the mighty warrior with his valiant heart. However, maintain the softness of the front ribs without allowing them to jut out too much which can compress the lower back.
  • Keep your face and throat soft and breathe evenly and freely.
  • Later, inhale, straighten your right leg, and repeat on other side.