Yoga Pose: Warrior 1

Warrior 1
Virabhadrasana 1
Virabhadra = name of a mythical warrior

Benefits:
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, thighs, ankles and back
- Stretches hip flexors, abdominals and ankles
- Expands chest, lungs and shoulders
- Develops stamina and sense of balance

Muscles activated most:
- Rectus abdominis
- Internal and External Oblique
- Transversus abdominis
- Biceps femoris
- Sartorius

Chakras: Manipura Chakra (root chakra)
This chakra governs emotions, desire and touch. Its vibrations balance the functioning of the stomach ,liver, gallbladder, nervous system, and sex organs.

Caution and Contraindications:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Those with shoulder injury, neck injury, knee or ankle injury

Steps:
Preparation poses
- Uttanasana, Utkatasana

Going into the pose
1. Stand at Tadasana (mountain pose)
Warriorpic1
2. Bring your arms up with elbow straight, into Urdhva Hastasana
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3. Inhale, step right leg about 4 feet forward. Turn your left feet out 45 degree.
Exhale, turn the torso and hips to face your right leg.
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4. Inhale. Then exhale, bend the right knee so that the shin and thigh make a 90 degree angle. Look up to the thumbs.
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5. Hold for 5 breaths. Repeat on the other side.

Getting out of the pose
1. Inhale, straighten the knees. Bring your hands by the side of the shoulders.
2. Exhale, back to Tadasana.

Techniques
- Shoulders away from your ears, tailbone slightly tucked under, lift the side trunk.
- Hips should be squared, ground down through the big toe of your front foot, press into the back heel.
- Do not take your knee past the ankle.

Counter-pose:
Parsvottanasana, Warrior II, Uttanasana, Tadasana

Beginners:
- Hands on hips, decrease distance between feet, raise back heel up.
- Students with shoulder injury should keep raised arms parallel to each other.
- Students with neck injury should keep head in neutral position.
- Students with knee or ankle injury should take note not to put too much weight on one side of the joints.

Video: http://youtu.be/RLogbg57cNw

Variations:
* Do a little back-bend in this pose. Lift the elbows and shoulders higher to lift the sternum up.

Michelle Lee (200hr Yoga 07/14 Weekend)