Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1)

This pose improves flexibility of the thighs, calves, abdomen, shoulder joint, and ankles. It promotes the releasing of the poas muscle which is useful for most yoga poses and helps to develop good posture and alignment. Warrior 1 also works to expand the ribcage- increasing lung capacity. It strengthens legs, arms, shoulders and the back.

As a dynamic pose, warrior 1 encourages good circulation, and is highly energising. After performing this pose one feels more open and proud- like a warrior.

With the support and guidance of a good teacher that is mindful of alignment and posture, warrior 1 can be a useful pose for those with sciatica and recurring back issues.


A Few Helpful Hints:

  1. Lift pubis toward the navel and direct the tail bone towards the floor.
  2. Let the lower part of the trapezius draw the shoulders down and back.
  3. Have a slight external rotation at the back hip joint.
  4. For beginners: widen and/or shorten the pose and progress towards the full pose.

Tips to Prevent Injury

The back knee can be vulnerable in Warrior 1 because our knees are not designed to be able to twist. With the back foot at 45 degrees we need to ensure that our knee does not compensate for this angle with a twist.

Have a slight external rotation at the hip joint in the back leg so that the front of that thigh is in line with your knee and toes. From here, work towards squaring your hips.

Take Caution If You Have:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac conditions
  • History of stroke
  • If you have serious knee, lower back, or shoulder issues

Associated Chakra: Anahata (Heart Chakra)