Pose of the Month: Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
Viparita Virabhadrasana or Reverse Warrior is a rejuvenating and strengthening pose. It stretches and strengthens the obliques, chest, quadriceps and hamstrings. It also focuses on lateral flexion through the spine to encourage healthy spine mobility. Mentally, it reminds you to feel strong and light simultaneously. Muhammad Ali once said, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Warriors of light and love are aware of the significance of the balance between strength and lightness. Each pose in yoga give us an opportunity to experience and explore different sensations to promoting a greater awareness of our body, mind and spirit. In life, without navigating through the shadows the light will not be seen. On the same note, without strength within this pose the lightness and length of this asana will not be fully explored. Dive a little bit deeper with Viparita Virabhadrasana and tap into the warrior of light and love within.
Below we take you step by step to feel grounded, strong, yet light in Reverse Warrior.
- Begin in Warrior 2. Spread the legs wide, placing the left foot at a 90 degree angle with the edge of the foot parallel to the mat and pressing firmly into the ground helping the left leg straighten. Lunge the right foot towards the top of the mat with toes pointing forward. Right leg is bent about 90 degrees, stacking the knee over ankle. Align right heel with left arch of the foot or keep both heels aligned. Be mindful as you feel strength in all four corners of your feet as this encourages strength up through the thighs, hips and core.
- To complete Warrior 2 raise arms parallel to the mat, reaching finger tips away from each other with palms shining down, expanding through the shoulder blades. Hips should feel securely squared towards the side of the mat.
- From Warrior two, take a few breaths to again ground and press firmly into the four corners of the feet energetically engage the legs.
- Next, flip your right palm towards the sky, take a deep inhale as it helps guide the right palm up and over your head letting a soft gaze follow your fingertips.Left hand lightly drapes on the back thigh reminding the core to engage and lift. Keep the lower half of your body in the same strong shape from Warrior 2. The only thing changing is the shape of your arms and torso.
- The torso and chest continue to open up towards the sky finding length in your right side body as your right fingertips and gaze steadily continue to reach up and over your head towards the back wall.
- With an exhale continue to ground down into the strength of your feet and legs, with each inhale pull navel to spine allowing the chest and upper back to open and fill towards the sky.
- Soften the gaze towards the right fingertips and come to your breath as you experience the full strength and lightness of this pose throughout your body, mind and spirit.
- Repeat on the other side.
- MODIFCATION: you can shorten the stance to encourage and build more strength and grounding through the feet and legs.
Become a warrior of light and love while practicing Reverse Warrior. Find your balance between lightness and strength in a class at Full Circle Yoga, all warrior levels welcome.