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How to Do the Warrior I Pose

The Warrior poses are named for a fierce demon, Virabhadra, created by the Hindu god Shiva to avenge his wife's death. The demon sprang up from the ground with a sword raised overhead—striking the very first Warrior I Pose.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Mountain Pose Stand at the front of your mat with your feet hip-width apart and your weight evenly distributed between them, your spine erect, and your arms at your sides.
  • Step 2: Straddle Pose Spread your legs three to four feet apart so that you are standing in a straddle pose with your hands at your thighs.
  • Step 3: Rotate feet Turn your feet to the right so that the right foot turns to face directly toward the right side of the mat and the left foot turns 45 degrees toward the right side of the mat.
  • Step 4: Rotate torso Rotate your torso to the right, and try to square your hips toward the right side.
  • Step 5: Bend right knee Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle so your shin is perpendicular to the ground and centered over your foot.
  • Step 6: Reach arms up With your palms together, reach your arms up, lifting your ribcage up from your pelvis as you lengthen your lower back. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Step 7: Focus eyes Look up at your thumbs or straight forward.
  • TIP: If you experience any discomfort in your neck or shoulders, back out of the pose a little, stretching your arms up parallel to each other instead of pressing your palms together.
  • Step 8: Hold pose Hold the pose for 30 seconds or so as you breathe deeply and smoothly, keeping your torso and hips turned facing the right leg.
  • Step 9: Release pose Release the pose by pressing your left heel into the mat and straightening your right knee, then rotate your torso back to the center and drop your arms.
  • Step 10: Repeat pose Repeat the pose on the left side, holding it for the same length of time that you did on the right.
  • Step 11: Release pose Release the pose by straightening your right knee, rotating your torso back to the center, and dropping your arms. Very fierce.
  • FACT: Virabhadra was said to be as tall as the sky, as bright as three suns, and bearing a weapon in each of his thousand arms.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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