Warrior One – Bring out your inner warrior with our Pose of the Week

“Courage, above all things, is the first quality of a warrior”

Carl Von Clausewitz

Sinead in Warrior 1 pose on the train tracks, smiling.

Read below for step by step instructions how to practice Warrior One, aka Virabhadrasana 1

Much like the other Warrior poses, we become strong from practicing Warrior One. Our shoulders, arms, muscles along the back, thighs and calves all get a good strengthening workout in this pose. At the same time we bring a lovely stretch to our hip flexors, including the psoas. Our chest, shoulders, thighs and calves also get a lovely stretch too!

If you suffer from high blood pressure, practice this pose with caution, perhaps keep your hands on your hips. This would be the same for anyone suffering from shoulder injuries.

Preparatory Poses

Down Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Tree Pose – Vrksasana

Reclined Hero Pose – Supta Virasana

Extended Side Angle Pose – Utthita Parsvakonasana

Rotated Side Angle Pose – Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Step by Step Guide

Three teacher trainees focusing in Warrior 1 pose.

Step One

Stand in Tadasana and step your left foot back about a leg length and a half’s distance behind. Land the left foot behind with the heel rooted to the floor and the toes turned out at 45 degrees. Bend your front knee so that it stacks above or just behind your ankle, in order to protect your knee don’t land it further forwards or either side of the ankle. If that’s the case then edge the front foot forwards slightly or rotate the thigh so that the knee comes in line.

Step Two

Once we have our foundation sorted with our feet and knees, we can look at our hips. Keep bearing weight through the outside of the left foot whilst lengthening the left hip forwards. This rotates the hips to face front on (you want them in line with the short edge of your mat in front) which then adds stretch to your hip flexors and can start to work into your psoas. Engages your lower abdominal muscles to lengthen your lower back, it’s like your tailbone lengthens forwards to your pubis and your pubis lifts to your navel.

Step Three

As you inhale lift your arms overhead, and feel as if you can lengthen the distance between your pelvis and your ribcage. You can really root down here through your feet and use that trong foundation to find more length in your upper torso and through your arms. Your hands can either be palms facing each other, or if you like to touch palms together and it doesn’t cause tnesion in the shoulders you can practice like that too. Gaze ahead or upwards.

Step Five

Stay here for 6 rounds of breath, constantly noticing your strong foundation, the support for your lower back in your core and the length coming throughout your structure. To come out of this pose, lower the arms and step forwards to Tadasana.

How are your warriors? If you’re becoming strong in your practice and would like to show us how far you’ve come, post your pics on our TWITTERINSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK, be sure to tag us in the picture @yogafurie and add the hashtag #yfpow!

Class with Sinead in Warrior 1 pose, focussing on working into hip flexors.

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