Warrior 1 - Virabhadrasana 1

Warrior 1 increases the flexibility of your hip flexors (front of your hips). Keeping the hips square can be a challenge if your hips flexors are tense. If this is your case, instead of sacrificing the position of your front knee or your rear foot, shorten your stance.

If your hips are flexible and you would like more challenge, increase your stance and sink the hips down. This will make your quadriceps work harder.

Warrior 1
  • Start with your feet about 3 feet apart and parallel to each other.

  • Keeping your heel on the ground, pivot your right foot outward 90 degrees, so your toes point toward the top of your mat.

  • Place your hands on your hips and rotate them to the right. Square your hips with the top of your mat, slightly pivoting your rear foot inward (up to about 45 degrees), if necessary.

* A great way to get into Warrior 1 is to link it with Downward Facing Dog. If you would like to start from this asana, scroll down for the instructions, and then come back here for the rest of the steps.

  • Inhale, lift the hands up toward the ceiling, palms facing each other. Lengthen the spine as you reach up.

  • Exhale, bent your right knee, until it is right above your ankle.

  • Posture tip

    Look straight forward or look up at your hands. But keep your neck long. Try not to compress the vertebras in your neck.

  • Press the outside edges of your left foot down. Distribute the weight of your body evenly on all four corners of both feet.

  • Line up your shoulders right above your hips.

  • Lower your shoulders down and away from your ears. Draw your shoulder blades down your back. But at the same time, reach both hands up, pressing the chest up and lengthening the spine.

  • Spread your fingers and keep your hands active and at shoulder width.

  • To come out of the pose, step the left foot forward to Tadasana.

Variation - Start in Downward Facing Dog.

  • From Downward Facing Dog , inhale and step your right foot forward. Place it between your hands.

  • Lower your left heel down to the floor.

  • Lift your torso up and bring your hands to your hips, squaring them with the top of your mat.

  • Scroll up to the * for the rest of the steps.

Variation - Hands Clasped

Clasp the hands together, above your head. This will give you more leverage to pull up and lengthen the spine, which feels very good. This variation can also help to open up your shoulders. If they are tight, pressing the hands back gently will help to increase their flexibility.

Main Target / Benefits
  • Strengthens the quadriceps, core and shoulders.

  • Opens up the hips and shoulders.
Caution /Recommendation
  • Keep the front knee lined up with your middle toe.

  • Avoid letting your front knee go past and in front of your foot.