Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose 1) Tutorial

Virabhadrasana, or "Warrior 1", is one of the most foundational poses, practiced in almost every contemporary yoga class.

Vinyasa Yoga School
Updated over a week ago2 minute read

Virabhadrasana is one of the most iconic and frequently practiced yoga poses in contemporary yoga.

While yoga has been around for thousands of years, people only started focusing on yoga as a form of exercise and physical growth within the last 200 years.

The "Warrior 1" pose is a relatively new development in the world of physical yoga, first appearing in texts and Hatha yoga practice in the 1920s.

Let's dive into the sanskrit word, "Virabhadrasana":

  • Pronounced (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)
  • Named after the mythical warrior Virabhadra
  • Roughly translates to:
    • vira = hero 
    • bhadra = good / friend 
    • asana = pose

We go into much greater depth in our yoga teacher training course, but here's a quick summary of how to perform this iconic pose:

  • Begin in Tadasana.
  • Exhale the left foot back three to four feet. Align your left heel behind your right heel and then turn you left foot out 45 degrees keeping your right foot forward.
  • Root the outer edges of your left foot into the mat as you rotate your hips so that they face forward and then bend your right leg to create a 90 degree angle.
  • Inhale and raise your arms until they are overhead, shoulder width apart and parallel to each other. Reach through your fingertips as the palms face inwards and draw your shoulders blades down towards your tailbone. Feel your shoulder blades lightly hug into your back.
  • Holding this position, see if on an exhale you can contract your abdominal muscles in order to tilt your pelvis so your tailbone moves down and under. Lift your energy up the grounded left leg through to the arms as you hold your posture tall, feeling your ribcage lift away from your pelvis. Keep your head neutral, gazing forward, or tilted back slightly looking up towards your thumbs..
  • To exit, exhale lowering your hands to hips. Inhale, and press firmly into your right foot, stepping your left leg forward, and exhale release your hands back into Tadasana.
  • Take a few breaths and then repeat with the other side for the same length of time.

Virabhadrasana I is an important pose of the Sun Salutation B. Click here for our tutorial of the entire Sun Salutation B sequence.

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