Virabhadrasana A or Warrior 1 is an important pose for the cardiovascular system. Your heart rate goes up, increasing your circulation when your arms are raised above your head and your legs are firmly pressing into the ground.
Warrior 1 also helps strengthen the legs and back while increasing space between the vertebrae. It prepares you for back bending which requires that same strength in the legs and articulation through the spine. Warrior 1 is a very important pose for energizing the body. It can be mildly therapy when you’re experiencing light states of depression.
This pose helps you build a firm foundation for the legs. It is originally considered a balancing pose because you are gazing up at your thumbs as you maintain the solid foundation of your legs.
Start by standing at the front of your mat. Now step back with your right foot. It is important to have an appropriate distance between your feet. You want to have the distance of about the length of one of your legs between your feet. Doing that tailors the pose to your own height.
Externally rotate your back foot at a 45° angle. Your front foot is pointed forward. Ideally, your front heel will align with your back arch. If you find it too hard to balance this way you can align your heels with each other to give you a slightly wider stance.
Bend your front knee at a 90° angle, so your thigh is parallel to the floor.
Square your pelvis forward without torquing your knee. Keep as much forward direction in your pelvis as possible.
Strengthen through your legs. Think about pressing your big toe little toe and heel evenly into the mat. Push back from your belly button through your hip. Allow the natural curve curvature of the lower back while keeping the tailbone in a neutral position.
Rise up through the centerline of your body from the emptiness in your pelvic bowl. Pull the femur of your front leg in. Never let your knee jut forward. Let your energy sink down. Your back heel should remain on the ground. Root down.
Hold your hands in front of you in prayer. Now rise up through the centerline of your body. Bring your hands straight up overhead with the palms continuing to press together. Now, look up at your thumbs.
If it’s uncomfortable for your neck you can open your hands and look forward.
To come out of the position lower your hands. Straighten your front leg. Step out of the position.
Watch the video with Kino for more details about how to do Virabhadrasana A.