Virabhadrasana I, II, and III (also known as Warrior 1, 2, and 3) are excellent beginner standing poses that are commonly taught in
The warrior poses are beneficial for increasing your body awareness and balance. They also help strengthen several muscles including your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, ankles, feet, abdominals, arms, and shoulders.
According to Trisha Lamb of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, you’ll get the best benefits when you move from Warrior 1 to 2 to 3 because it soothes your mind and gently massages your internal organs.
Virabhadrasana I (known as Warrior 1) is an essential pose to work on to benefit all of your standing poses. It’s excellent for flexibility and builds strength in your lower body such as legs and ankles.
How To Do it:
This is a more advanced way to come into warrior 1, if you’re a beginner, try coming from runners lunge instead.
- Beginning with Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands, bending your right knee.
- Flatten the left heel to the mat, point the toes 45 degrees to the left, and press against the outer edge of the foot.
- Exhale and square the front of your pelvis as much as possible to the front of your mat.
- Lengthen your tailbone down and arch your upper torso back slightly but try not to stick your ribcage out.
- Check that your right knee is bent and over the ankle, shin is perpendicular to the floor.
- Now for the main movement, lift your arms up over your head, lengthen your spine and open your chest. If possible, bring the palms together.
- Gaze forward or look up towards your thumbs.
The shoulders should be facing forward in the same direction as your knees and face.
- The main benefit of Warrior 1 is that it strengthens the legs and stretches the thighs and calves. Pushing your hips down as much as possible helps with this.
- According to Open Fit, it also strengthens your spinal extensors, shoulders, hamstrings, and the quads
- The open chest is great for perfecting your breathing
Virabhadrasana II (or warrior 2) is another pose in the Sun Salutation B series, only this one reaches your arms out wide rather than up high. The pose requires high levels of strength, stability, and also flexibility.
How To Do it:
- This one I best when started in mountain pose (Tadasana) at the top of your mat. Bring your hands to your hips, then take a step back with your left leg, turning the body and pointing your left toes to face the long edge of the mat.
- In this one, you’ll want to align the left heel with the right heel. Firm your thighs and press ground down through the four corners of your feet.
- Inhale and extend your arms parallel to the mat, palms facing down. Keep your shoulders relaxed and neck lengthened.
- Exhale and bend the right knee, keeping the right thigh parallel to the mat and the knee just over the ankle. If you feel unstable in this position, adjust your stance or lift your right thigh higher until you feel grounded.
- Draw your lower belly in and up to lengthen your spine, making sure not to lean your torso to the left or right. keep both sides of the body equally long, with the shoulders directly over the pelvis. lengthen the tailbone down to the ground, and look over your right hand. Stay in the pose for 5-15 breaths, drawing strength from your legs and belly.
- Powerful stretch for the inner thighs and chest
- Deep hip opener
- Strengthens thighs, buttocks, abdomen, ankles, and arches of the feet
- Increases stamina and breathing capacity
- Increases ability to concentrate as you focus your energy on the pose
- According to Yoga Journal, this is great to relieve backaches during the second trimester of pregnancy.
I have not seldom covered Virabhadrasana III (warrior 3) much on this blog to date, but I do incorporate it into my routiners and will share some of the benefits here for your today.
Warrior 3 is great for the concentration of your mind and to improve your balance. You must ensure o keep a super straight knee else it can knock you off. There are several variations of this pose with your arms in different places.
- Excellent for your glutes and hamstrings which keep your leg up in a straight position
- Excellent for your shoulders as you keep your arms out
- Strengthens your core
- Good for balance and stability