Warrior 1, or Virabhadrasana 1, is one of the three Warrior poses in yoga.

Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)

Difficulty level: Easy


    • Opens the chest, shoulders, neck, and back
    • Stretches the ankles, calves, and thighs
    • Strengthens the thighs, back, shoulders and arms

Begin in Down Dog.  Inhale, stretch your right leg high behind you as you press your hands firmly into your mat.  Exhale and draw your right knee in towards your abdomen, then place your right foot in between your hands.  Place your left foot flat on the mat with the toes pointing roughly towards the the front left corner of the mat.  Your feet should be roughly as wide as your hips (like railroad ties).

Inhale and place your hands on your hips.  Keeping your torso parallel to the floor, lengthen your spine from your hips through the crown of your head.   Keeping your right knee bent, inhale and lift your torso.  Press down from the hips through the feet.  Inhale and lift your arms overhead.  Firm your shoulder blades on your back and engage your shoulders as you reach long through your arms.  Keeping your tailbone heavy, firm your belly, and press from your left hip through your left heel.

Hold the pose for several breaths.  When you are ready to exit the pose, exhale and draw your hands to frame your right foot onto the mat.  Step your right foot back to meet your left foot, press through plank back to Down Dog.

Variation:  If it is difficult to press the back heel to the floor, keep the heel slightly lifted and place a blanket under the heel.  Press the heel firmly into the blanket.

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