Virabhadrasana is composed of 3 words, meaning, “Vira” or hero, warrior, vigorous, courageous; “Bhadra” means –Friend, good, auspicious and ‘Asana’ means seat, pose or posture. Virabhadrasana also called the Warrior Pose is a robust yoga posture that demands strength and balance resulting in body awareness.
3 Types of Virabhadrasana
There are three Warrior Pose variations:
- Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I): A beginner level pose performed standing in lunge-like position with one knee bent at 90-degree angle and another leg fully extended behind. The arms are actively raised towards the ceiling. Remain in this Pose for 30 seconds and breathe deeply about 3 to 4 times.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II): The pose is done with feet spread wide about 3-4 inches apart and in the lunge position. Arms are outstretched to the sides with the head turned in the same direction of the bent knee.
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III): Performed in a lunge position with arms straight overhead. Lean forward from the hips until the trunk is parallel to the floor and keep the legs unbent behind.
The first two are perfect for the beginner level practitioners to start their yoga journey while the last one is best suitable for intermediate and advanced yogis.
10 Benefits of Warrior Pose:
- Activate the Erector Spinae: The erector spinae lies on either side of the vertebral column and extends alongside the lumbar, cervical, and thoracic sections of the spine. The performance of warrior pose activates the erector spinae helping it to function properly and decreasing the chances of spasms and pains.
- Strengthen the Gluteus: Virabhadrasana strengthens the gluteus, quadriceps, adductors of the inner thighs, and hamstrings. Gluteus is the strongest Maximus muscle in the posterior responsible for the movement of the hips and thighs. The strengthening action of the warrior pose reduces pain in the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner thighs.
- Stretching the Hip flexors: The warrior I pose gives a nice opening stretch to the hip flexors, ankles, shoulders, and neck. The nice stretch in the warrior pose assists in loosening of the stiff muscles and releasing of the pent-up emotions in these areas.
- Mind-Body Connection: The movement of the legs and hands in various directions requires that the practitioner has a great sense of spatial orientation. In this way, the Virabhadrasana fosters coordination and intimate connection with the self.
- Therapeutic benefit for Sciatica: Helps relieve tension in the back and hips, a regular practice of virabhadrasana can provide long-lasting relief from sciatica pain to the patients in the most natural way.
- Open up the Heart: The performance of Warrior pose with the alignment: one leg behind, hips forward, and chest lifted opens the heart and develops courage. This powerful posture is highly valuable for gaining inner strength and opening to others in a confident manner.
- Adds boost to energy levels: The warrior pose effectively stretches, strengthens, opens, and treats various body organs, fibers, muscles, and joints. This yoga posture potently makes the practitioners free from diseases and helps them manifest higher energy levels.
- Enhanced Mental State: The practice of Virabhadrasana significantly alters the brain chemicals and hormones for good for the experience of peacefulness. The warrior poses support parasympathetic nervous system and creates higher mental resistance in times of conflict.
- Stamina & Balance: The prolonged holding of this pose helps in building stamina and balance. The holding a body in the lunge position acts like a great workout for the core and stabilizer muscles.
- Overall Fitness: Is a great way to tone the upper and lower body. The pose strengthens the weak muscles, builds endurance, and provides energy essential for living a healthy life.
- In case of spinal problems or chronic illness avoid this Asana and consult a doctor before attempting this pose.
- Lift your arms and keep them parallel to each other if you have shoulder pains. Do not look up towards your hand after stretching them in case of neck problems.
- Use the support of a wall if you have knee pain or suffering from arthritis.
- People having high B.P. or heart problems do not practice this pose.
- Pregnant women who are in their second and third trimesters must consult their doctor and yoga expert before doing this asana.