Virabhadra : Warrior – Asana : Posture

Virabhadra : A warrior considered as a manifestation of lord Shiva. Virabhadrasana is one of the most profound and important postures. It is not just a lunge; it incorporates a lot of rotational work around the ankle area, SI joint and hip area. Become aware of the rotational movement of the spine when in this posture.

Instructions:

  • Step feet 4 feet apart and turn the right foot out 90 degrees
  • Left foot should move at least 45 degrees in and the left foot’s outer heel should be firmly pressed
  • Keep the feet in heel to heel alignment
  • Left foot also be kept facing the front. The left heel can lift up in case of tight calf muscles
  • Bring your left hip in line with front hip by rotating the left back thigh inside out
  • Keep pressing on the back foot’s heel as you move your front leg into the lunge
  • Spread the frontal base of the right foot nicely and press the heel to lift the shinbone up and back into the leg
  • Tuck the tail bone in and lift the spine by lifting through the side ribs
  • Move your arms out to the sides and externally rotate the arms so that the palms face up. Now lift the arms up in Urdhva Hastasana
  • Press the base of the wrists firmly against each other and rotate your arms externally
  • Maintain a straight spine and when breathing, relax the facial muscles
  • Pay attention to the movement of the trunk. It should face to the front; if the trunk moves to the left rotate it back to the right

Variations :

  • Feet placement may be changed according to the mobility of the ankle and length of back calf muscle
  • Keep a block underneath the heel of the back foot in case of a weak back leg and shortened calf muscle
  • Keep a belt on the wrist to keep strong arms
  • Keep a belt on the back thigh to rotate the back hip
  • Keep the back heel on a wall to give strength to the back leg and to deepen the lunge
  • Reach the arms towards the wall to deepen the back bend
  • According to guru Ji B.K.S Iyengar Vira 1 teaches us the entry to a backbend. The action of the scapulae must be learned to experience this.

Benefits:

  • Makes the back ankle mobile and strong
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Makes the paraspinal muscles strong and supple
  • Provides good mobility in the SI joint area
  • Opens up the thoracic spine
  • Gives correct action for backward bends

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